Development of brief stress management support groups for couples undergoing in vitro fertilization treatment

Fertil Steril. 2000 Jul;74(1):87-93. doi: 10.1016/s0015-0282(00)00564-1.


Objective: To develop and assess the efficacy of couples stress management groups offered concurrently with IVF treatment.

Design: Couples in IVF treatment were given the option of participating in a biweekly stress management group.

Setting: The IVF treatment clinic at Wilford Hall Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas.

Patient(s): One or both members of 17 couples participated in the program in one of four group cycles.

Intervention(s): A cognitive behavioral treatment model was used to help couples process their feelings and cognitions about the impact of infertility on their life and explore their expectations about their future options for becoming parents.

Main outcome measure(s): Couples were asked to anonymously evaluate the efficacy of the group after they had completed their IVF cycle.

Result(s): Participants reported that the group helped them deal with the stress of infertility and that they valued the social bonds they formed with other group members.

Conclusion(s): These data suggest that brief focused group therapy, offered while couples are undergoing IVF, is an effective way to help people deal with the stress of infertility treatment.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Jealousy
  • Male
  • Military Personnel
  • Peer Group
  • Religion and Medicine
  • Self-Help Groups*
  • Social Behavior
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy*