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Psychosocial aspects of involuntary infertility. Report of a Regional Seminar, Espoo, Finland, September 1984.
London, IPPF, Europe Region, 1984. 27 p.This report of a regional seminar conducted by the Planned Parenthood Federation of Finland focuses on the psychosocial aspects of involuntary infertility and their implications for counseling. The seminar was the culmination of a project launched by the Europe Regional Council with the aim of stimulating public awareness of the plight of infertile couples, emphasizing the role of psychosocial counseling in infertility problems, and supporting the role of planned parenthood associations as a resource. It was noted that infertility imposes profound emotional and social stress, in turn evoking feelings of denial, anger, grief, and guilt. However, in most cases the provision of psychosocial support is not given as much attention as the medical management of the problem. There is a need to combine the psychosocial and medical dimensions of infertility treatment through a division of labor between planned parenthood associations and hospitals. Counseling should be aimed initially at identifying the costs and benefits of infertility treatment from the client's perspective. Acceptance of childlessness, as well as becoming able to bear a child, are both valuable results of infertility treatment. Finally, the rapid development of technologic breakthroughs in infertility treatment (e.g., in vitro fertilization, embryo transfer, artificial insemination by donor) raises important legal and ethical considerations that must be addressed. The seminar articulated 5 general conclusions: 1) both the emotional and medical dimensions of infertility require attention, 2) personnel involved with infertility problems need special education and training, 3) there is a need for international guidelines regarding infertility clients and their offspring, 4) legislation to protect all partners involved should be considered, and 5) planned parenthood associations can make a major contribution in this area as a result of their expertise in human fertility, counseling, sex education, and information dissemination.
London, England, IPPF, 1984 Aug. 50  p.The need for family life education today is urgent. The rapid social changes taking place around the world are altering traditional family and community structures and values, and the task of preparing young people to cope with adult life has become more difficult. If family life education is to succeed, it must meet the needs of the young people for whom it is designed. Some common needs of young people are: coping with the physical and emotional changes of adolescence; establishing and maintaining satisfying personal relationships; understanding and responding positively to changing situations, e.g. the changing roles of men and women; and developing the necessary values and skills for successful marriage, child-rearing and social participation in the wider community. The potential scope for family life education programs encompasses psychological and emotional, social, developmental, moral, health, economic, welfare and legal components. The integration of these perspectives into family life education programs are issues which are explored in many of the materials listed in this bibliography. The bibliography is divided into 5 sections. It includes a listing of materials which discuss the definition, content and scope of family life education. It also presents family life bibliographies, curriculum guides, and training manuals and handbooks. Finally, it deals with studies of family life education programs and projects. Publishers' addresses are listed at the end of the bibliography.
Lancet. 1984 Jul 21; 2(8395):144-5.The objective of the World Health Organization (WHO) project, an international, prospective study conducted by centers in England, India, Columbia, Nigeria, and the Philippines, was to investigate the effects of tubal occlusion on the mental and physical health and psychosexual and menstrual functioning of women choosing to undergo the procedure for contraceptive purposes only. A subsequent report presents details and results of the English component of the study. 2 groups of healthy multiparous women having either interval sterilization (at least 6 months since an obstetric event) or postpartum sterilization (within 72 hours of delivery) were recruited. For each group, a control group was recruited from women using or planning to use nonpermanent contraceptive methods. All women were interviewed preoperatively and again 6 weeks and 6 months after the operation by standardized techniques. The results showed that sterilized women did not differ from the control samples in mental state, as assessed by the Present State Examination or in subjectively assessed mental or physical health or abdominal pain. More sterilization subjects than control subjects reported improvement in sexual satisfaction at the later follow-up. Many of the subjects reporting adverse effects at follow-up had revealed disturbances at the initial asssessment. All these women had at least 2 living children. They were women living in stable marriages or other relationships that had lasted an average of over 9 years. They were free from physical or mental ill health before sterilzation. They had their sterilizations voluntarily and solely for the purpose of keeping their families small. It comes as no surprise that, relative to a general population sample, the mental state of sterilized women in the study actually seemed to improve. A need exists for methodoloically sound studies that would identify social and psychological conditions under which sterilization might have ill effects.
Tropical Doctor. 1984 Jan; 14(1):34-40.A description of the Dominican Child Health Passport (CHP) and its clinic-based counterpart are presented. These are adaptions of the World Health Organization (WHO) growth chart. A prototype of the chart was introduced in June, 1980 for a pilot project in the town of Portsmouth. At 7 consequtive child welfare clinics all parents who received a CHP at an earlier visit were interviewed. Questions were asked about some aspects of clinic attendance, the use of and attitude towards the CHP; and understanding of it. The children ranged in age from 1-21 months with a mean of 7 months. 31 parents (61%) had visited the clinic 4 weeks ago (the usual period between visits) and the average was 5 weeks. Weighing was the reason that 49% of the mothers brought their children to the clinic. This could mean that there is already an awareness of the importance of weighing for monitoring child health. Of the 51 parents, only 1 had forgotten the CHP. 10 children possessing a CHP were taken to a doctor. 6 mothers took the CHP along, and on 5 occasions the doctor showed an interest. Opinions on various aspects of the CHP are given. The price--60 cents Eastern Caribbean Currency (=US $0.22) was considered acceptable. Almost all mothers liked to have the CHP at home. However, a substantial % did not like the idea of having child spacing methods entered on the card. 4 CHPs with different weight curves were shown to mothers, who were asked if they would worry about a child who showed the growth pattern indicated. Severe underweight with loss of weight was recognized by 51% of the interviewees. Obesity was not usually considered something to worry about; this is understandable in a place where undernourishment is common in infants. About 1/3 of the respondents recognized the danger if an infant was still in the normal range of weight-for-age but was losing weight.