Psychological impact of single and multiple courses of assisted reproductive treatments in couples: a comparative study

Salomé Reis*, Maria Raul Xavier, Rui Coelho, Nuno Montenegro

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective To analyze the psychological impact on levels of anxiety and depression in couples who, confronted with the diagnosis of infertility, propose to carry out ART; to evaluate and compare state-trait anxiety and depression levels in couples undergoing ART treatments for the first time and repeatedly, and to verify gender differences. Study design In this prospective study in the Medically Assisted Reproduction Unit of the Centro Hospitalar de São João, Porto, Portugal, 89 couples diagnosed with infertility were divided into two groups: (1) couples starting ART for the first time (43), and (2) couples pursuing ART repeatedly (46). Participants completed the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory-Form Y (STAI-Y), prior to their first or subsequent treatment cycle. Results Couples pursuing ART for the first time show higher levels of state-anxiety compared to couples who repeatedly carry out ART (p < 0.05). Levels of depression are higher in couples who repeatedly carry out ART (p < 0.05). In both study groups, women and men have higher levels of state-anxiety compared to trait-anxiety (p < 0.05). With respect to depression, there are significant differences between genders in both groups, showing higher values in women compared to men (p < 0.01). Conclusions The results show that there is room to tailor psychological interventions for the specific story of each couple, but we emphasize the importance and need for more studies to support these findings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-66
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
Volume171
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013

Keywords

  • Assisted reproductive treatments (ART)
  • Depression
  • Gender
  • Infertility
  • State-trait anxiety

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