Authors: Grothaus, Jana
Title: Three perspectives on fertility treatment – a temporally extended and high-risk service and a conversational taboo
Language (ISO): en
Abstract: According to recent estimates, one in six couples worldwide is—at least temporarily—affected by infertility. For those couples, fertility treatment is often the last resort, which, however, involves high levels of emotional distress. In the vein of transformative service research, the aim of this dissertation is to identify ways to enhance their well-being during this stressful period of life. In three papers, the researcher focuses on the long duration of treatment, the high risk of failure and the perception as a taboo topic, which are key sources of patients’ emotional distress. In Paper 1, fertility treatment is considered as a temporally extended service, suggesting that patients’ well-being changes over time. Surveying 212 infertility patients at different stages of the patient journey, this paper aims to answer the research question, how emotional distress and fertility-related needs evolve (1) over the course of a treatment cycle and (2) across multiple treatment cycles. In Paper 2, fertility treatment is explored as a high-risk service. Researchers have comprehensively studied uncertainty in consumers’ decision-making and how they cope with service failures, but little is known about how consumers cope with uncertainty while waiting for a service outcome. Building on 23 in-depth interviews with infertility patients, this paper explores strategies of coping with uncertainty in high-risk services. In Paper 3, the focus lies on fertility treatment as a conversational taboo. While taboo topics used to be discussed only behind closed doors—for instance, in secluded online forums—they have recently begun to be discussed also on public social media platforms. In a netnographic study, the potential of social media with regard to the well-being of consumers confronted with taboos is outlined through the analysis of 69 infertility-related YouTube videos from various infertility vloggers.
Subject Headings: Fertility
Transformative service research
High-risk service
Subject Headings (RSWK): Fertilität
Issue Date: 2022
Appears in Collections:Lehrstuhl Marketing

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