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FertiQoL Background

The World Health Organization (WHO) in 1998* described quality of life (QoL) as "...an individual's perceptions of their position in life in the context of the culture and value systems in which they live and in relation to their goals, expectations, standards and concerns...". Thus quality of life is a subjective rating of the excellence of one's life embedded in its cultural, emotional, social and environmental context. An international and interdisciplinary approach was taken to create FertiQoL a measure of quality of life in people experiencing fertility problems. A multidisciplinary team produced FertiQoL following a predetermined process that included polling expert opinions from around the world conducting focus groups with culturally diverse groups of men and women and testing preliminary versions of FertiQoL in community and clinical samples. FertiQoL is a sensitive, reliable and valid measure of quality of life for men and women experiencing fertility problems.

FertiQoL assesses the influences of fertility problems in diverse life areas, for example, on self-esteem, emotions, general health, partnership, family and social relationships, work life and future life plans. Additionally the optional FertiQoL Treatment module assesses the burden/tolerability of fertility treatment. It is hoped that FertiQoL will become the gold standard in measuring quality of life in people with fertility problems. FertiQoL was developed to improve clinical care and foster cross-country collaborations. To this end clinicians and researchers are invited to use FertiQoL in upcoming projects, whether these be epidemiological surveys, cross-cultural studies, clinical trials or intervention projects aimed at identifying and addressing risk factors for poor adjustment to infertility or its treatment.

*The WHOQOL Group ( 1998 ), The World Health Organization quality of life assessment (WHOQOL): Development and general psychometric properties. Soc. Sci Med. 46; 1569-85.