Mindfulness-Based Program for Infertility: efficacy study

Fertil Steril. 2013 Oct;100(4):1059-67. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2013.05.036. Epub 2013 Jun 27.


Objective: To present and determine the impact of the Mindfulness-Based Program for Infertility (MBPI).

Design: Controlled clinical trial.

Setting: University research unit.

Patient(s): Fifty-five infertile women completed the MBPI, and 37 infertile women were assigned to a control group.

Intervention(s): The MBPI includes 10 weekly sessions, in a group format, with a duration of about 2 hours each (men attend three sessions).

Main outcome measure(s): Standardized measures of depression, state anxiety, entrapment, defeat, internal and external shame, experiential avoidance, mindfulness, self-compassion, and infertility self-efficacy were endorsed pre- and post-MBPI.

Result(s): The MBPI group and the control group were shown to be equivalent at baseline. By the end of the MBPI, women who attended the program revealed a significant decrease in depressive symptoms, internal and external shame, entrapment, and defeat. Inversely, they presented statistically significant improvement in mindfulness skills and self-efficacy to deal with infertility. Women in the control group did not present significant changes in any of the psychological measures, except for a decrease in self-judgment.

Conclusion(s): Increasing mindfulness and acceptance skills, as well as cognitive decentering from thoughts and feelings, seem to help women to experience negative inner states in new ways, decreasing their entanglement with them and thus their psychological distress. Data suggest that the MBPI is an effective psychological intervention for women experiencing infertility.

Keywords: Mindfulness; acceptance and commitment therapy; infertility; psychopathology.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Awareness
  • Breathing Exercises
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cognition
  • Depression / psychology
  • Depression / therapy
  • Female
  • Fertility*
  • Humans
  • Imagery, Psychotherapy
  • Infertility, Female / diagnosis
  • Infertility, Female / physiopathology
  • Infertility, Female / psychology
  • Infertility, Female / therapy*
  • Male
  • Meditation
  • Mental Health*
  • Mind-Body Therapies / methods*
  • Perception
  • Portugal
  • Psychophysiology
  • Psychotherapy, Group / methods*
  • Self Concept
  • Shame
  • Stress, Psychological / diagnosis
  • Stress, Psychological / physiopathology
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome