Communication, coping and social networking in women and men with from a lifeworld perspective


Communication, coping and social networking in women and men with from a lifeworld perspective


Involuntary childlessness is often defined as the inability to conceive after a year’s sexual relationship or the inability to conceive a pregnancy to a living child. Involuntary childlessness is investigated and treated as a medical problem while individuals experience it as a psychological and social problem, often with existential features. It is a hidden disability where communication with others is hampered by the fact that it affects sexual norms and social taboos. The Internet enables people to seek information and support via various social media and the importance increases as individuals are given the opportunity to be more prepared for various examinations, tests, and treatments than before. Social media can also create false hopes and disseminate false information, which can affect the meeting with health care professionals as patients make new demands regarding the provision of services. Internationally conducted studies have focused on stress, anxiety, and depression, so there is a clear knowledge gap on questions about how infertility affects social relationships and how, above all, men handle this we know little about.


The main purpose is to explore and describe communication, coping and social networking among women and men with involuntary childlessness from a life-world perspective.


Both qualitative and quantitative research methods are used. Data has been collected through text analysis of blogs, surveys, and interviews with both open and closed questions. Descriptive statistics are used for analysis of numerical data. Content analysis is applied to the qualitative data and text analysis tools are used for thematic analysis of blog content through Gavagai ( /). Participants in the project have been recruited through the Sophiahemmet Fertility Clinic and through the Internet. The study started in 2015 and data collection is ongoing.


The value of the project must be seen in the light of the increased number of infertile individuals in our society and that there is limited qualitative nursing research in the problem area. By highlighting the problems that exist, the physician, the midwife and the nurse’s level of knowledge can be increased, and thus patient safety is increased. The projects result will enrich the understanding of infertile women and men’s use of blogs about their involuntary childless situation, which will affect the meeting between patient and health care professionals as health care professionals become more aware of the new requirements infertile individuals have on healthcare staff regarding the provision of services. Research about this is needed to help staff plan adequate off-line and online interventions. In a larger perspective, this will help to ensure a high and consistent quality of care.


Sophiahemmet University and Sophiahemmet Research Found.


Project responsible: Margareta Westerbotn Associate Professor, Sophahemmet University

Research group: Taina Sormunen, PhD-student, Sophahemmet University; Klas Karlgren, Associate Professor, Karolinska Institutet; Bjöörn Fossum, professor, Sophahemmet University; Arthur Aanesen, MD, PhD, Sophiahemmet Fertility Clinic