The aim of the study is to determine whether a cognitive-behavioral group treatment could lead to a decrease of psychological distress in couples waiting for assisted reproduction. Fifty consecutive couples included in the waiting list for IVF-ET or ICSI were randomly allocated either to receive Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment (CBT Group) or just waiting (Observation Group). The group is formed by 8-10 couples; 12 meetings are provided for a period of 4 months. Two psychometric test have been administered (Symptom Rating Test and Westbrook Coping Scales) at baseline and after 4 months. At baseline, females showed a higher level of SRT than males (F = 16.6 ± 14.1; M = 10.2 ± 9.0; p = 0.01). This became evident for anxiety (F = 5.6 ± 4.9; M = 3.3 ± 3.0, p = 0.004), somatization (F = 3.0 ± 2.5; M = 1.8 ± 2.1, p = 0.01) and feelings of inadequacy (F = 3.9 ± 3.7; M = 2.3 ± 2.7, p = 0.01). After 4 months in the males of Observation Group (from 2.3 ± 2.0 to 4.0 ± 2.8, p = 0.01) there was an increase of the level of anxiety. No other meaningful differences in other variables were found. In females of CBT Group a trend towards a significant decrease in the total value of psychological uneasiness (the SRT) (from 17.7 ± 13.7 to 14.1 ± 14.0, p = 0.07) was found. A long wait before the scheduled intervention of assisted reproduction increased anxiety levels, namely in male partners. CBT avoids such a 'waiting stress' and could be useful for stimulating discussion and awareness inside the couple. Shortening the waiting list and psychological support would be provided by infertility centres.
Psychological group support attenuates distress of waiting in couples scheduled for assisted reproduction / Tarabusi, M.; Volpe, A.; Facchinetti, F.. - In: JOURNAL OF PSYCHOSOMATIC OBSTETRICS AND GYNECOLOGY. - ISSN 0167-482X. - 25:3-4(2004), pp. 273-279. [10.1080/01674820400017905]