Objective: The present study examined patients', nurses', and physicians' perceptions of the physical and emotional difficulty of infertility treatment.
Design: A mail survey method was used.
Patients, participants: Participants included 26 patients, 76 nurses, and 71 physicians from infertility clinics in the United States and Canada.
Main outcome measures: A rating scale measured the physical and emotional difficulty level of 36 components from the infertility investigation.
Results: Nurses rated the emotional and physical distress of patients higher than did patients and physicians, whereas patients rated their distress higher than did physicians. Older nurses and physicians inferred lower levels of physical and emotional distress than did their younger counterparts. A greater breadth of experience with infertility treatments was associated with higher ratings of emotional distress by nurses and lower ratings by physicians.
Conclusions: Patients, nurses, and physicians perceive infertility treatment from unique vantage points creating differences in perceptions that have implications for patient care. Factors including era of professional training, stage of life, and changes resulting from advancing technology are viewed as influencing health care professionals' perceptions of infertility distress.