Associations of Symptoms of Depression, Social Support, and Quality of Life Among Korean Women Who Experience Infertility

Hyewon Shin, Jungmin Lee, Shin Jeong Kim, Minjeong Jo

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5 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe the quality of life (QOL) of Korean women experiencing infertility based on sociodemographic and infertility characteristics and to examine the associations among symptoms of depression, social support, and QOL. Design: Cross-sectional, descriptive study. Setting: Participants were recruited from July to August 2019 on one of the largest South Korean websites where individuals share pregnancy and parenthood experiences. Participants: Adult women (N = 186) who received infertility treatment. Methods: Participants completed an online survey using the Korean version of the Patient Health Questionnaire 9 to measure symptoms of depression, the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, and the Fertility Quality of Life (FertiQOL) scale. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, correlation, analysis of variance, and multiple regression. Results: There was a significant negative relationship between scores on the Patient Health Questionnaire 9 and FertiQOL (r = −.56) and a significant positive relationship between scores on the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support and FertiQOL (r = .40). The length of time from diagnosis of infertility to data collection, past and current treatments, cost burden, and degree of inhibition of daily life due to infertility also significantly affected participants’ FertiQOL scores. Symptoms of depression, the burden of treatment, and inhibition of daily life activities explained 46% of the variance in QOL. Conclusion: Women experiencing infertility and symptoms of depression had lower FertiQOL scores. Health care providers, who are most familiar with and attentive to patients, could provide a first line of defense against poor QOL in this population. By continuously assessing the levels of psychosocial stress in women with infertility, nurses could provide timely resources and design interventions to improve women's QOL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e1-e12
JournalJOGNN - Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors report no conflicts of interest or relevant financial relationships. None.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 AWHONN, the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses


  • infertility
  • quality of life
  • social support
  • symptoms of depression


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