Results from a prospective, randomized, controlled study evaluating the acceptability and effects of routine pre-IVF counselling

Hum Reprod. 2003 Dec;18(12):2647-53. doi: 10.1093/humrep/deg501.


Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate a model of routine pre-IVF counselling focusing on the narrative capacities of couples. The acceptability of counselling, the effects on emotional factors and the participants' assessments were considered.

Methods: The study included 141 consecutive childless couples preparing for their first IVF. Randomization was carried out through sealed envelopes attributing participants to counselled and non-counselled groups and was accepted by 100 couples. Another 12 couples refused randomization because they wanted counselling and 29 because they did not. Questionnaires including the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, the Beck Depression Inventory and assessments of help were mailed to couples before IVF and counselling, and after the IVF outcome.

Results: Counselling was accepted by 79% (112/141) of couples. There was no significant effect of counselling on anxiety and depression scores which were within normal ranges at both times. Counselling provided help for 86% (75/87) of initially non-demanding subjects and 96% (25/26) of those initially requesting a session. Help was noted in areas of psychological assistance, technical explanations and discussing relationships.

Conclusions: This model of routine counselling centred on the narrative provides an acceptable form of psychological assistance for pre-IVF couples.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Counseling*
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro*
  • Humans
  • Infertility / psychology*
  • Infertility / therapy*
  • Male
  • Occupations
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Rate
  • Prospective Studies
  • Refusal to Treat
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome