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Minerva Obstetrics and Gynecology 2021 May 28

DOI: 10.23736/S2724-606X.21.04852-1

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

lingua: Inglese

Psychosocial response of infertile patients to COVID-19-related delays in care at the epicenter of the global pandemic

Pietro BORTOLETTO , Linda APPLEGARTH, Laura JOSEPHS, Justine WITZKE, Phillip A. ROMANSKI, Glenn SCHATTMAN, Zev ROSENWAKS, Elizabeth GRILL

The Ronald O. Perelman and Claudia Cohen Center for Reproductive Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY, USA



BACKGROUND: To describe the psychosocial response of the infertile population whose care was curtailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
METHODS: A web-based cross-sectional survey was administered to 117 infertile patients at our center who had their infertility treatment delayed due to suspension of care at our hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey consisted of 52-question multiple-choice questions including the Life Orientation Test-Revised (LOT-R) and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) instruments. Characteristics of respondents who “agreed” (strongly agree and agree) that “delaying treatment has permanently impacted my chances at future conception” were compared with participants who “disagreed” (neutral, disagree, and strongly disagree) using Fischer’s exact test.
RESULTS: In total, 79.5% agreed that delaying treatment has permanently impacted their chances at future conception. There were no discernible demographic differences between patients who “agreed” versus “disagreed” with the above statement. The mean LOT-R score was 14.1 (5.1) with an optimism score of 6.8 (2.6) and a pessimism score of 7.3 (2.9). The mean HADS depression score was 5.4 (3.4) with 28.2% reporting scores in the borderline-abnormal to abnormal range. The mean HADS anxiety score was 9.0 (3.9) with 64.6% reporting scores in the borderline-abnormal to abnormal range. Nearly one third of respondents (36.8%) reported wanting to “expedite/be more aggressive with treatment,” whereas only 5.1% wanted to postpone treatment.
CONCLUSIONS: Women undergoing ART during the COVID-19 pandemic express significant concern and signs of distress about how delays in care affect their future reproductive potential.


KEY WORDS: COVID-19; Psychological response; Delays in care; Infertility treatment

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