MMPI -2 profiles of anonymous oocyte donor candidates: A comparative characterization
Riddle, Mary P.
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The world of high tech infertility treatments includes oocyte "egg" donation for women who are unable to use their own eggs to attempt a pregnancy via In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). At present, little is known of the psychological characteristics of potential oocyte donors. In recent years, protocols have been established to both screen and counsel women who choose to become donors and psychological assessment of potential donors is an important aspect of the role of the psychologist in the infertility setting. The American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) recommends psychological assessment and counseling of women choosing to donate eggs by a qualified mental health professional and states that donors should be free from significant psychopathology. The limited research into the personality profiles of oocyte donor candidates using the MMPI has been conflicting in that the early research concluded that potential donors were more likely to have a tendency towards psychological conflict while subsequent research revealed donor profiles to fall well within normal limits.;The present study sought to examine the personality profiles of 383 anonymous oocyte donor candidates who were given the MMPI-2 as part of a standardized psychological battery for consideration as potential donors at a large metropolitan hospital. In addition to examining the mean profiles of the sample, comparisons were made with both the general population and medical outpatients using both T-test and chi-square analyses. Results revealed mean profiles of the sample falling within normal limits, albeit significantly below what might be expected from both the general population and medical outpatients. Chi-square analyses revealed no significant differences between groups with the exception of the L scale. Conclusions of the present study were that oocyte donor profiles suggest significant defensiveness although no significant psychopathology was noted in the group as a whole. The MMPI-2 profiles of potential donors should be carefully considered within the context of the overall psychological evaluation and clinicians should be sensitive to the donor's psychological well-being throughout the donation process.