Families with children resulting from ART: Psychosocial and financial implications

NICHD Cooperative Reproductive Medicine Network

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3 Scopus citations


STUDY QUESTION: What are the psychosocial and financial issues experienced among families with children 2-12 years of age conceived by ART? SUMMARY ANSWER: Our results suggest that families with children, 2-12 years of age, conceived via ART are doing well, although impacts were identified on parents of twins and higher-order multiples. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: Multiple births have been associated with higher morbidity and mortality of children, as well as financial costs to families and society. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: This study was an assessment of familial response to birth of singletons, twins and higher order multiples at child's ages of 2-12. PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING,METHODS: Semi-structured interviews and surveys were conducted with mothers (n= 348) and fathers (n= 338) of singletons, twins and higher-order multiple gestations who received fertility services. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: No significant differences were observed between the groups in domains of primary caregiving or parental separation/divorce. Impacts were identified on parent's ability to maintain employment. The revised 15-item scores of the Impact on Family Scale were significantly lower, reflecting more negative impacts, among families with twins (beta =-2.6, 95% confidence interval (CI), -4.7, -0.5, P =0.014) and multiples (beta=-7.4, 95% CI, -10.4, -4.5, P<0.001) than among families with singletons. Similarly, the Parenting Stress Index total scores were significantly lower among families with twins and multiples, indicating greater levels of stress, when compared to those with singletons. In addition, the Beck Depression Inventory total score were significantly higher for twins and multiples, and the Child Behaviour Checklist for ages 1.5-5 total problem score was significantly higher for twins when compared to singletons. LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION: The study was limited to families who received fertility treatment and constitutes a population that was well educated and had higher incomes. Additionally, interview data was self-reported. STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S): This work was supported by National Institutes of Health (NIH)/Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) U10 HD39005 (to M.P.D.), U10 HD077680 (to K.R.H.), U10 HD077844 (to A.Z.), U10 HD077841 (to M.C.), U10 HD38992 (to R.S.L.), U10 HD27049 (to C.C.), U10 HD055925 (to H.Z.). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NICHD or NIH. Dr Virginia Miller-no conflicts;DrMichael P. Diamond-NIH Funding, AbbVie, Bayer andObsEva Funding; Board of Directors and Stockholder for Advanced Reproductive Care; Dr Karl R. Hansen-Yale University/Reproductive Medicine Network/NICHD, Roche Diagnostics and Ferring International Pharmascience Center US funding; Dr Anne Steiner-NIH Funding; Dr Marcelle I. Cedars-no conflicts; Dr Richard Legro-consultant for Ogeda, Millendo, Kindex and Bayer; Ferring and Astra Zeneca funding; Dr Stephen A. Krawetz-no conflicts;Dr Christos Coutifaris-NIH Funding; Dr Hao Huang-no conflicts; Dr Nanette Santoro-no conflicts; Dr Heping Zhang-NIH Funding. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: N/A.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberhoaa010
JournalHuman Reproduction Open
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Embryology

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