The effects of psychosocial interventions on the mental health, pregnancy rates, and marital function of infertile couples undergoing in vitro fertilization: a systematic review
- 706 Downloads
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of psychosocial interventions on the mental health, pregnancy rates, and marital function of infertile couples undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF), as determined through RCT studies.
Using the electronic databases PubMed, EMBase, Cochrane Library, CINAHL, PsycInfo, and CAJ, a systematic literature search was conducted in July 2015. MeSH terms, key words, and free words such as “infertility,” “fertilization in vitro,” “psychotherapy,” “intervention,” “anxiety,” “depression,” and “marital satisfaction” were used to identify all potential studies. The quality of the studies that were included was assessed using the risk of bias assessment tool developed by the Cochrane Back Review Group. Descriptive analysis was adopted to synthesize the results.
A total of 20 randomized controlled trials were included in this review. There were reports of positive effects on the anxiety levels, pregnancy rates, or marital function of infertile couples in six studies that adopted different psychosocial approaches, including mind body intervention (Eastern body-mind-spirit, Integrative body-mind-spirit, and Mind/body intervention), cognitive behavioral therapy, group psychotherapy, and harp therapy. However, there were methodological or practical issues related to measurement points and attrition rates in these studies. None of these interventions were found to be efficacious in relieving the depression or stress of individuals or couples undergoing IVF treatment. None of the included studies tackled or measured the mental health status of the couples during the most stressful time of waiting for the pregnancy results of their treatment.
A complex intervention, based on sound evidence, should be developed targeting both females and males of infertile couples undergoing IVF treatment, particularly during the stressful period of waiting for the results of the pregnancy test result and after failed cycles.
KeywordsInfertile couples In vitro fertilization Mental health Pregnancy rate Psychosocial intervention Systematic review
Compliance with ethical standard
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- 8.Ismail W, Menezes M, Martin C, Thong K. A comparison of psychological functioning in couples undergoing frozen–thawed embryo replacement in various stages of treatment using the Mean Affect Adjective Check List (MAACL). J Assist Reprod Genet. 2004;21(9):323–7.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 9.Yassini M, Khalili MA, Hashemian Z. The level of anxiety and depression among Iranian infertile couples undergoing in vitro fertilization or intra cytoplasmic sperm injection cycles. J Res Med Sci. 2005;10(6):358–62.Google Scholar
- 12.Matthiesen S, Frederiksen Y, Ingerslev HJ, Zachariae R. Stress, distress and outcome of assisted reproductive technology (ART): a meta-analysis. Hum Reprod. 2011:der246.Google Scholar
- 13.Boivin J, Griffiths E, Venetis CA. Emotional distress in infertile women and failure of assisted reproductive technologies: meta-analysis of prospective psychosocial studies. BMJ. 2011;342(7795).Google Scholar
- 14.Sultan S, Tahir A. Psychological consequences of infertility. Hellenic J Psychol. 2011;8:229–4.Google Scholar
- 21.Hoffmann TC, Glasziou PP, Boutron I, Milne R, Perera R, Moher D, et al. Better reporting of interventions: template for intervention description and replication (TIDieR) checklist and guide. BMJ (Clinical research ed). 2014;348:g1687.Google Scholar
- 22.Ruddy R. House A. The Cochrane Library: Psychosocial interventions for conversion disorder; 2005.Google Scholar
- 39.Matthiesen S, Klonoff-Cohen H, Zachariae R, Jensen-Johansen MB, Nielsen BK, Frederiksen Y, et al. The effect of an expressive writing intervention (EWI) on stress in infertile couples undergoing assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatment: a randomized controlled pilot study. Brit J Health Psychol. 2012;17(2):362–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 43.Zhu H-B, Hu P-C, Qiao J. Effects of group psychotherapy on mood in patients undergoing in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer. Chin Ment Health J. 2010;24(12):912–6.Google Scholar
- 48.Beckmann C. Infertility. Obstetrics and gynecology. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2014. p. 371–80Google Scholar
- 49.Ying LY, Loke AY. An analysis of the concept of partnership in the couples undergoing infertility treatment. J Sex Marital Ther. 2015(ahead-of-print):1–14.Google Scholar