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Psychosocial predictors of IVF success after one year: a follow-up study

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Objectives: There is growing evidence that psychosocial factors play an important role in the success of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF). The current study explored the impact of coping style, social support, self-compassion, parenthood motivation and relationship attachment as predictors of IVF success.

Design: A follow-up survey of 305 women undergoing IVF who had initially been assessed one year earlier.

Methods: Participants were assessed on measures of coping style, social support, self-compassion, parenthood motivation, relationship attachment and psychological distress and reassessed one year later in terms of the outcome of IVF.

Results: Of these, 156 reported successful births while 149 had been unsuccessful. Of the 149 who had been unsuccessful, 66 were undertaking another cycle of IVF and 83 were not, although whether they had completely given up is not known. The significant positive predictors were problem-focused coping, mindfulness, nurturance motivation, secure attachment, support from friends and self-kindness. In addition, social pressure motivation, and avoidance coping were negative predictors.

Conclusions: The findings point to potential psychological interventions in terms of stress management, couple counselling and mindfulness therapy in increasing the likelihood of success from IVF.
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Keywords: In-vitro fertilisation (IVF); attachment; coping; infertility; self-compassion; social support

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Psychology Research Institute, Ulster University, Coleraine, Northern Ireland

Publication date: May 27, 2019

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