Tool description

ESHRE, ASRM and Merck-Serono S.A. joined forces in June 2002 to develop the first internationally validated quality of life tool for people with fertility problems.

Creation of item pool

27 experts based in 11 countries and from various professions (researchers, psychologists, social workers, counsellors, patient user groups, gynecologists, nurses), generated a set of 302 items identifying 14 life domains affected by fertility problems.

The 302 items were reduced to 116 items after many rounds of expert consultation.

Focus groups with patients to validate generated items

A total of 17 focus groups in 5 countries (Canada, USA, Mexico, Germany, Italy) with 136 patients were organized to validate the items generated by the experts. These groups were also used to uncover important areas or specific issues which men and women with fertility problems may encounter or experience overlooked by the experts.

From these groups the first draft of the FertiQoL questionnaire was developed.

Acceptability phase

The acceptability phase was performed with 525 men and women with fertility problems in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Greece, France, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States of America. Translation from English into the target language was organised through a forward and backward process by skilled translators with a final check of the wording performed by the main clinical investigator from each country.

This phase of development helped identify problem items and instructions.

Psychometric Phase

The first draft of FertiQoL was distributed to 1414 people with fertility problems: 366 people in fertility clinics in 5 countries (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK and USA) and 1048 people online. Statistical analyses were carried out to establish fit between the proposed and observed FertiQoL factor structure, the reliability of items and their sensitivity. The final wording was tested on a further independent sample of people with fertility problems and this version is the final version of FertiQoL.

For more information on the development of FertiQol see the development papers and their supplementary tables:

Boivin, J, Takefman, J, Braverman, A. (2011). Development and preliminary validation of the fertility quality of life (FertiQoL) tool. Human Reproduction, 26(8), 2084–2091. DOI: 10.1093/humrep/der171 [Download the free PDF]

Boivin, Takefman & Braverman. (2011) The Fertility Quality of Life (FertiQoL) tool: development and general psychometric properties. Fertility and Sterility, 96, 409-15. DOI: [Download the free PDF]

Table 1 Steps in the FertiQoL development process

Table 2 Detailed description of FertiQoL item generation, selection and reduction