, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 629–635 | Cite as

How Does the Mindfulness-Based Program for Infertility (MBPI) Work in Reducing Depressive Symptoms?

  • Ana Galhardo
  • Mariana Moura-Ramos
  • Marina Cunha
  • José Pinto-Gouveia


Mindfulness-based approaches have been applied and proved efficient in reducing symptoms related to several health problems. To our knowledge, the Mindfulness-Based Program for Infertility (MBPI) was the first mindfulness program developed specifically to target women facing infertility. This psychological intervention program was previously shown to be effective in reducing depressive symptoms in women facing infertility, but the underlying mechanisms were not clarified. The current study aimed to test whether the decrease of depressive symptoms could be explained by the increase of self-efficacy following the MBPI. The MBPI included 10 weekly sessions, in a group format, with the duration of about 2 h each and was applied to five groups (10 to 15 participants in each group). Fifty-five women completed the MBPI, and 37 women were assigned to a control group. All participants presented an infertility diagnosis and were pursuing medical treatment for this condition. Standardized measures of depression and infertility self-efficacy were collected pre and post MBPI. A significant indirect effect was found, showing that the MBPI intervention reduced the depressive symptoms of women with infertility by increasing their perceptions of self-efficacy. In summary, the promotion of infertility self-efficacy may be considered a key component of psychological interventions targeting depressive symptoms in women facing infertility.


Infertility Mindfulness-Based Program for Infertility (MBPI) Infertility self-efficacy Depressive symptoms 



We thank all the participants in the study for their contribution. The authors also like to thank the national patients association, APFertilidade, for the support provided.

Author Contributions

AG: designed and executed the study, assisted with the data analyses, and wrote the paper. MMR: analyzed the data and wrote the paper. MC: collaborated with the design and writing of the study. JPG: collaborated with the design and the discussion of results.

Funding Information

This research has been supported by the first author Ph.D. Grant (SFRH/BD/68392/2010), sponsored by FCT—Portuguese national funding agency for science, research and technology.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Ethical approval was obtained from the Scientific Council of the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of the University of Coimbra.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

Written informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto Superior Miguel TorgaCoimbraPortugal
  2. 2.CINEICC – Faculty of Psychology and Educational SciencesUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal

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