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Exploring the Experiences of Compassion in Men Living with Infertility

Wallis, Emily Christina Maria


Emily Christina Maria Wallis



This thesis portfolio comprises three parts: a systematic literature review, an empirical paper, and appendices.
Part One: The systematic literature review explores perceptions of masculinity in the context of infertility for men. A systematic search of relevant databases found eleven qualitative papers which met the inclusion criteria for this review. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence quality appraisal checklist (NICE, 2012) was used to evaluate the methodological quality of the papers before a meta-narrative approach was used to synthesise the papers. Four overarching narratives were identified and summarised: multiple perspectives of masculinity; infertility’s impact on self-perception of male identity; masculinity as an influence on coping with infertility; and “It’s not ok for men to share”: isolation and barriers to accessing support. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.
Part Two: The empirical paper explores experiential understanding of compassion in men living with infertility using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA; Smith, 2009). Six men participated in semi-structured interviews. Three themes emerged which are described under the broad headings: self-perception; relationships; and ‘it’s opening that Pandora’s Box again’, with 6-subthemes developed from the data. Interpretation of the results is embedded in relevant literature of compassion and the clinical implications are discussed.
Part Three: The appendices compile resources from the systematic literature review and empirical paper, including author guidelines for the respective journals, a reflective statement and epistemological statement to inform the context of this portfolio thesis.


Wallis, E. C. M. (2023). Exploring the Experiences of Compassion in Men Living with Infertility. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Nov 21, 2023
Publicly Available Date Nov 23, 2023
Keywords Clinical psychology
Public URL
Additional Information School of Psychology and Social Work
University of Hull
Award Date Sep 28, 2023


Thesis (1.2 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2023 Emily Wallis. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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