I am Grateful About All it is”: Religion and Spirituality as Resources of Coping with Infertility (Pages: 0-0)

Latifnejad Roudsari R *, Allan H.T , Smith P.A ,


Objective: Despite the lack of empirical research on the role of spirituality in the lives of infertile women scientific literature has identified religion and spirituality as significant coping resources throughout the life course which individuals rely on to gain control in their lives. This study explored how infertile women coped with infertility using their belief system. Materials and Methods: In a feminist grounded theory study 30 infertile women affiliated to different denominations of Christianity (Protestantism Catholicism Orthodoxy) and Islam (Shia and Sunni) were interviewed. Data were collected through semi structured in-depth interviews with volunteer infertile women in one Iranian and two UK fertility clinics and analyzed using Strauss and Corbin’s mode of grounded theory. Results: Religious infertile women using religious and spiritual problem-solving strategies played an important role in promoting their psychological fitness. They used a combination of both positive (benevolent religious reappraisal belief in spiritual support engagement in religious rituals belief in miracle religious surrendering belief in timing religious consciousness religious helping and seeking support from clergy) and negative religious coping strategies (demonic reappraisal discontent with God discontent with clergy and spiritual irrelevance). Religious participants concurrently used some non-religious coping strategies (seeking friendship looking for medical resources not to think about changing lifestyle and complementary therapies) in conjunction with religious coping strategies. Conclusion: Infertile women reported a variety of religious/spiritual coping strategies which were associated with adaptive health outcomes. Further scientific inquiry is required to investigate how religion and spirituality promote healthy adaptation to infertility and whether health professionals' attention to religious/spiritual coping could assist infertile women to be well adapted to infertility.