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BMJ. 2010 Sep 30;341:c2501. doi: 10.1136/bmj.c2501.

The effect of a multifaceted empowerment strategy on decision making about the number of embryos transferred in in vitro fertilisation: randomised controlled trial.

Author information

  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, PO Box 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen, Netherlands. A.vanpeperstraten@obgyn.umcn.nl

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the effects of a multifaceted empowerment strategy on the actual use of single embryo transfer after in vitro fertilisation.

DESIGN:

Randomised controlled trial.

SETTING:

Five in vitro fertilisation clinics in the Netherlands.

PARTICIPANTS:

308 couples (women aged <40) on the waiting list for a first in vitro fertilisation cycle.

INTERVENTIONS:

The multifaceted strategy aimed to empower couples in deciding how many embryos should be transferred. The strategy consisted of a decision aid, support of a nurse specialising in in vitro fertilisation, and the offer of reimbursement by way of an extra treatment cycle. The control group received standard care for in vitro fertilisation.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Use of single embryo transfer in the first and second treatment cycles as well as decision making variables and costs of the empowerment strategy.

RESULTS:

After the first treatment cycle, single embryo transfer was used by 43% (65/152) of couples in the intervention group and 32% (50/156) in the control group (difference 11%, 95% confidence interval 0% to 22%; P=0.05). After the second treatment cycle, single embryo transfer was used by 26% (14/154) of couples in the intervention group compared with 16% (8/51) in the control group (difference 10%, -6% to 26%; P=0.20). Compared with couples receiving standard care, those receiving the empowerment strategy had significantly higher empowerment and knowledge levels but no differences in anxiety levels. Mean total savings per couple in the intervention group were calculated to be €169.75 (£146.77; $219.12).

CONCLUSIONS:

A multifaceted empowerment strategy encouraged use of single embryo transfer, increased patients' knowledge, reduced costs, and had no effect on levels of anxiety or depression. This strategy could therefore be an important tool to reduce the twin pregnancy rate after in vitro fertilisation. This trial did not, however, demonstrate the anticipated 25% difference in use of single embryo transfer of the power calculation.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00315029.

PMID:
20884700
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2948112
Free PMC Article
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