Investigating the relationships among stressors, stress level, and mental symptoms for infertile patients: A structural equation modeling approach

Jong Yi Wang, Yi Shan Li, Jen De Chen, Wen Miin Liang, Tung Chuan Yang, Young Chang Lee, Chia Woei Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Patients with infertility are a high risk group in depression and anxiety. However, an existing theoretically and empirically validated model of stressors, stress, and mental symptoms specific for infertile patients is still a void. This study aimed to determine the related factors and their relational structures that affect the level of depressive and anxiety symptoms among infertile patients. Methods: A cross-sectional sample of 400 infertility outpatients seeking reproduction treatments in three teaching hospitals across Taiwan participated in the structured questionnaire survey in 2011. The hypothesized model comprising 10 latent variables was tested by Structural Equation Modeling using AMOS 17. Results: Goodness-of-fit indexes, including χ2/DF = 1.871, PGFI = 0.746, PNFI = 0.764, and others, confirmed the modified model fit the data well. Marital stressor, importance of children, guiltand- blame, and social stressor showed a direct effect on perceived stress. Instead of being a factor of stress, social support was directly and positively related to self-esteem. Perceived stress and self-esteem were the two major mediators for the relationships between stressors and mental symptoms. Increase in social support and self-esteem led to decrease in mental symptoms among the infertile patients. Conclusions: The relational structures were identified and named as the Stressors Stress Symptoms Model, clinically applied to predict anxiety and depression from various stressors. Assessing sources and level of infertility-related stress and implementing culturally-sensitive counseling with an emphasis on positive personal value may assist in preventing the severity of depression and anxiety.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0140581
JournalPLoS One
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 20 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Medicine


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