Dr Myriam de Senarclens Prize 1996

Dr. med. Emine Yüksel and Prof. Dr. med. Heribert Kentenich, Virchow-Klinikum, Medizinische Fakultät der HUB, Frauen- und Poliklinik, Berlin, Deutschland

Psychosomatic Counselling for Sterile Turkish Couples

Psychosomatisches Betreuungskonzept steriler türkischer Paare in der Migration


Current research situation

In the existing international literature there are very few reports on the problems of migrant couples affected by sterility.

Research Aim

Approximately 50% of the non-German sterile couples in Berlin are Turkish nationals. The special situation of sterile couples undergoing treatment is to be elaborated and a counseling concept developed.


Personality tests, questionnaires and couple interviews (in Turkish).


The language barrier is the main hurdle to understanding between German gynecologists and Turkish patients, especially in terms of complex counseling and treatment of sterility. Inadequate levels of general schooling and sex education often lead to problems when it comes to explaining and understanding bodily functions and sterility therapy. The desire to have children often results from the demand of Turkish culture. Turkish IVF patients are mostly younger than their German counterparts, tend not have jobs and have only limited knowledge of the biological process involved in the complicated sterility treatment.


Large reproductive medical centers should employ staff with relevant language and ethnocultural skill in order to facilitate better counseling and treatment of these couples. Information brochures in Turkish concerning the reasons why sterility can occur, as well as diagnosis and treatment, can be useful during treatment. Video films in Turkish should therefore be developed, as they are more likely to be accepted than brochures.

The published papers (German):

Kentenich, Heribert, & Yüksel, Emine. (1997). Psychosomatisches Betreuungskonzept steriler türkischer Paare in der Migration. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Yüksel, Emine, Siemann, Anette, & Kentenich, Heribert (1996). Sterilität türkischer Paare in Migration. Ein multifaktorelles Problem. Psychosozial, 19, 7-13.

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[Publisher (Psychosozial Verlag)]