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BMJ Open. 2015 Jan 28;5(1):e006592. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-006592.

Efficacy of psychosocial interventions for psychological and pregnancy outcomes in infertile women and men: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Author information

1
Unit for Psychooncology and Health Psychology, Department of Psychology, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark.
2
Skejby Fertility Clinic, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.
3
Unit for Psychooncology and Health Psychology, Department of Psychology, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark Department of Oncology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the evidence on the efficacy of psychosocial interventions for improving pregnancy rates and reducing distress for couples in treatment with assisted reproductive technology (ART).

DESIGN:

Systematic review and meta-analysis.

DATA SOURCES:

PsycINFO, PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, Web of Science and The Cochrane Library between 1978 and April 2014.

STUDY SELECTION:

Studies were considered eligible if they evaluated the effect of any psychosocial intervention on clinical pregnancy and/or distress in infertile participants, used a quantitative approach and were published in English.

DATA EXTRACTION:

Study characteristics and results were extracted and the methodological quality was assessed. Effect sizes (ES; Hedges g) were pooled using a random effects model. Heterogeneity was assessed using the Q statistic and I(2), and publication bias was evaluated using Egger's method. Possible moderators and mediators were explored with meta-analyses of variances (ANOVAs) and meta-regression.

RESULTS:

We identified 39 eligible studies (total N=2746 men and women) assessing the effects of psychological treatment on pregnancy rates and/or adverse psychological outcomes, including depressive symptoms, anxiety, infertility stress and marital function. Statistically significant and robust overall effects of psychosocial intervention were found for both clinical pregnancy (risk ratio=2.01; CI 1.48 to 2.73; p<0.001) and combined psychological outcomes (Hedges g=0.59; CI 0.38 to 0.80; p=0.001). The pooled ES for psychological outcomes were generally larger for women (g: 0.51 to 0.73) than men (0.13 to 0.34), but the difference only reached statistical significance for depressive symptoms (p=0.004). Meta-regression indicated that larger reductions in anxiety were associated with greater improvement in pregnancy rates (Slope 0.19; p=0.004). No clear-cut differences were found between effects of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT; g=0.84), mind-body interventions (0.61) and other intervention types (0.50).

CONCLUSIONS:

The present meta-analysis suggests that psychosocial interventions for couples in treatment for infertility, in particular CBT, could be efficacious, both in reducing psychological distress and in improving clinical pregnancy rates.

KEYWORDS:

Infertility; Psychosocial intervention; distress; pregnancy

PMID:
25631310
PMCID:
PMC4316425
DOI:
10.1136/bmjopen-2014-006592
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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