A feasibility study of a brief coping intervention (PRCI) for the waiting period before a pregnancy test during fertility treatment

Hum Reprod. 2008 Oct;23(10):2299-307. doi: 10.1093/humrep/den257. Epub 2008 Jul 15.


Background: Waiting for a pregnancy test during fertility treatment can be particularly stressful because distress and intrusive cognitions about the nature and implications of the result can reduce quality of life. The aim of this feasibility study was to establish whether a novel brief coping intervention (positive reappraisal coping intervention, PRCI) card that encouraged women waiting for an IVF pregnancy test to redefine the waiting period more positively would be acceptable and practical in this context.

Methods: Women (n = 55) were randomly assigned on the day of embryo transfer. Women read either 10 statements in a PRCI (n = 28) or 10 statements in a positive self-affirmative (positive mood) intervention (PMI; n = 27) twice daily for 14 days between embryo transfer (T1) and the pregnancy test (T2). At T2, we evaluated the practicality, acceptability, perceived benefits and endorsements of these cards.

Results: Compared with the PMI, the PRCI was rated as more helpful and suitable for the situation, helping women to feel more positive and better helping to sustain efforts to cope. There were no differences relating to the practicality of the intervention method.

Conclusions: PRCI was feasible in the IVF context and was perceived as an acceptable intervention to help minimize the strain of waiting for pregnancy test results during fertility treatment. Future research needs to evaluate the full benefits of PRCI against routine care during the waiting period.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro / psychology
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy Tests / psychology*
  • Time Factors