What About Fertility Staff Emotions? An Explorative Analysis of Healthcare Professionals’ Subjective Perspective


  • Fabiola Fedele
  • Andrea Caputo
  • Barbara Cordella
  • Ludovico Muzii
  • Daniela Pietrangeli
  • Cesare Aragona
  • Viviana Langher


Infertility-related psychological research is traditionally oriented to analyze the wellbeing of couples undergoing Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART), than to study the job-related effects on the healthcare fertility staff. This piece of research aims at understanding the subjective perspective of the fertility professionals and contribute to identify their emotional dynamics in their work environment. An in-depth explorative research study was conducted on 12 healthcare professionals of an Italian ART hospital clinic. Structured interviews with open-ended questions were administered to explore their deep feelings about their professional experience. Emotional text analysis was then conducted to analyze the textual corpus of their narratives to grasp their affective symbolizations. Statistical multidimensional techniques were used to detect some thematic domains (cluster analysis) and latent factors organizing the contraposition between them (multiple correspondence analysis). Five thematic domains were detected which refer to different emotional dimensions, as follows: performance anxiety (Cluster 1), ambivalence between omnipotence and powerlessness (Cluster 2), care burden (Cluster 3), feeling of duty (Cluster 4), and sense of interdependence (Cluster 5). Then, four latent factors were identified dealing with the laborious attempt to remedy, the realistic sense of limitation, the incumbent feeling of pressure and the restorative sense of justice, respectively. The results are discussed based on the existing literature and some useful recommendations for staff education, training and clinical supervision are provided accordingly.