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J Assist Reprod Genet. 2004 Sep;21(9):323-7.

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).

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Assisted Conception Programme, Edinburgh Fertility & Reproductive Endocrine Centre, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Little France, EH 16 4SU, United Kingdom.



The objectives were to identify the stage(s) of frozen embryo replacement cycle where the couples are most vulnerable to psychological dysfunction. Assessment was performed by using the Mean Affect Adjective Check-List (MAACL).


Thirty couples completed the MAACL questionnaire at the following stages: (a) pretreatment (visit 1), (b) before embryo transfer (visit 2), and (c) before pregnancy test (visit 3). Each partner had to complete a separate questionnaire set.


For both partners, the depression score for visit 3 was significantly higher and the sensation seeking and positive affect scores were significantly lower than the corresponding scores for earlier visits. Anxiety scores were similar for all visits. For men, the hostility scores were significantly higher between visits 1 and 2 while in women the same was reported between visits 3 and 2.


Psychological counselling should be targeted at couples especially after embryo transfer. MAACL is a useful method for measuring psychological dysfunction in these couples.

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