3 years ago

Quality of life of immigrant and non-immigrant infertile patients in a publicly funded in vitro fertilisation program: a cross-sectional study

J Hasson, T Shavit, T Shaulov, E Seccareccia, J Takefman, T Tulandi
Objective To investigate whether there are differences in fertility quality of life (FertiQoL) and socio-demographic characteristics between immigrants and non-immigrant patients attending a government-funded fertility program. Design Cross-sectional study. Setting McGill University Reproductive Center in Montreal, Canada, at a time when governmental funding for in vitro fertilisation (IVF) was provided to all residents. Population All infertile patients, males and females, attending the center between March and July 2015. Methods Patients were invited to complete anonymous questionnaires which included socio-demographic items and the validated FertiQoL questionnaire. Main outcome measures Socio-demographic characteristics (age, gender, marital state, infertility type & duration, previous IVF attempts; education, employment, income, ethnicity, spoken languages) and FertiQoL scores. Results In all, 1020 patients completed the questionnaires; of these, 752 (77.7%) non-immigrant Canadian citizens and 215 (22.3%) resident immigrants were included in the analysis. Median duration in Canada for immigrants was 4 years. Immigrants were more likely to have university/graduate degrees (75% versus 64%), to be unemployed (37% versus 13.1%) and to have lower annual household incomes (72.8% versus 39.5%, all P < 0.05). They also reported poorer QoL and achieved significantly lower scores in the emotional, mind/body, social, treatment and total FertiQoL domains. Multivariate analysis showed male gender, lower education level and Caucasian/European ethnicity to be significantly associated with higher QoL. Conclusions Despite governmental funding of IVF, immigrants experience reduced fertility QoL, implying cost is not the only barrier to IVF use. The reduced QoL may stem from cross-cultural differences in infertility perception. This population may be at greater risk for depression and anxiety and should be flagged accordingly. Tweetable abstract Immigrants’ fertility QoL is lower despite publicly funded IVF implying cost is not the only barrier to IVF use.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/1471-0528.14709

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