Author(s): Groff AA, Covington SN, Halverson LR, Fitzgerald OR, Vanderhoof V,
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To examine women's emotional responses to learning the diagnosis of premature ovarian failure (POF) and identify the sources of support used for coping. DESIGN: Observational study. SETTING: National Institutes of Health Clinical Center. PATIENT(S): One hundred women previously diagnosed with POF of median age 28 years at diagnosis. INTERVENTION(S): Structured telephone interviews based on focus group findings. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Manner informed of POF diagnosis, emotional response, and areas of emotional support. RESULT(S): Overall, 71\% were unsatisfied with the manner in which they were informed by their clinician, and 89\% reported experiencing moderate to severe emotional distress at the time. The degree of emotional distress was positively correlated with the degree of dissatisfaction with the manner in which the women had been informed of the diagnosis. Thorough and accurate medical information on POF, support of others, and spirituality were perceived as helpful in coping. CONCLUSION(S): Learning the diagnosis of POF can be emotionally traumatic and difficult for women. The findings suggest that the manner in which patients are informed of this diagnosis can significantly impact their level of distress. Patients perceive a need for clinicians to spend more time with them and provide more information about POF.
This article was published in Fertil Steril
and referenced in Reproductive System & Sexual Disorders: Current Research