Article

Women's emotional adjustment to IVF: A systematic review of 25 years of research

Department of Medical Psychology, Radboud University Nijmegen, Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
Human Reproduction Update (Impact Factor: 8.66). 01/2007; 13(1):27-36. DOI: 10.1093/humupd/dml040
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This review provides an overview of how women adjust emotionally to the various phases of IVF treatment in terms of anxiety, depression or general distress before, during and after different treatment cycles. A systematic scrutiny of the literature yielded 706 articles that paid attention to emotional aspects of IVF treatment of which 27 investigated the women's emotional adjustment with standardized measures in relation to norm or control groups. Most studies involved concurrent comparisons between women in different treatment phases and different types of control groups. The findings indicated that women starting IVF were only slightly different emotionally from the norm groups. Unsuccessful treatment raised the women's levels of negative emotions, which continued after consecutive unsuccessful cycles. In general, most women proved to adjust well to unsuccessful IVF, although a considerable group showed subclinical emotional problems. When IVF resulted in pregnancy, the negative emotions disappeared, indicating that treatment-induced stress is considerably related to threats of failure. The concurrent research reviewed, should now be underpinned by longitudinal studies to provide more information about women's long-term emotional adjustment to unsuccessful IVF and about indicators of risk factors for problematic emotional adjustment after unsuccessful treatment, to foster focused psychological support for women at risk.

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    • "This author in his literature review also highlights the need to apply methodology and assessment tools that are suitable and specific to the field. Classically, the main variables studied have been anxiety and depression without finding conclusive results in many cases (Verhaak et al., 2007). Antequera, Moreno-Rosset, Jenaro, & Ávila-Espada (2008) provide a review of emotional changes before an infertility diagnosis, during treatment, and during pregnancy and parenting, highlighting the need to differentiate between emotional maladjustment and psychopathological alteration in infertile people in order to detect those couples that are vulnerable to developing psychopa- thology. "
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study is to find out if the variables state-anxiety, trait-anxiety, positive-affect, negative-affect, alexithymia, and adaptive (personal and interpersonal) resources can predict emotional maladjustment in infertile people, taking into account the potentially moderating role of gender. A sample of 101 participants with an infertility diagnosis (51 males and 50 females) completed a battery of psychological tests (DERA, Emotional Maladjustment and Adaptive Resources in Infertility questionnaire, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory [STAI], PANAS, Positive and Negative Affect Schedule, and TAS-20, [Toronto Alexithymia Scale]). The moderating, partial, and interactive effects of the variables were analyzed using hierarchical regression analysis. The resulting model explained 71.1% of total variance, resulting in gender as an important moderating variable and trait anxiety, state anxiety, negative affect, and low interpersonal resources as strong predictors of emotional maladjustment in infertile people. These results provide guidance in selecting the most appropriate psychological support and treatment for the emotional adjustment of infertile women and men.
    Clínica y Salud 03/2015; 1(1):54-60. DOI:10.1016/j.clysa.2015.01.002
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    • "This author in his literature review also highlights the need to apply methodology and assessment tools that are suitable and specific to the field. Classically, the main variables studied have been anxiety and depression without finding conclusive results in many cases (Verhaak et al., 2007). Antequera, Moreno-Rosset, Jenaro, & Ávila-Espada (2008) provide a review of emotional changes before an infertility diagnosis, during treatment, and during pregnancy and parenting, highlighting the need to differentiate between emotional maladjustment and psychopathological alteration in infertile people in order to detect those couples that are vulnerable to developing psychopa- thology. "
    Clínica y Salud 01/2015; 26:57-63.
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    • "General psychological perspectives of adjustment to important life events suggest that the inability to come to terms with unfulfilled life goals may result in negative adjustment (Thompson et al., 2011). Consistently, several studies show that women with a sustained child-wish have more adjustment problems than those who manage to refocus their life (van Balen and Trimbos-Kemper, 1994; Daniluk, 2001; Verhaak et al., 2007a,b; Kraaij et al., 2008), irrespective of whether parenthood was achieved or not (Mac Dougall et al., 2012; Wischmann et al., 2012). This suggests that adjustment is not so much dependent on whether parenthood was achieved but on the ability to reconcile with unfulfilled goals. "
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    ABSTRACT: STUDY QUESTION Are fertility treatment-related factors, parenthood status and sustained child-wish associated with women's long-term mental health?
    Human Reproduction 09/2014; 29(10). DOI:10.1093/humrep/deu178 · 4.59 Impact Factor
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