Credentials of Corresponding Author
PhD, RN, APRN
Name of Faculty Advisor
Lindsey Garfield, PhD, RN, APRN
Infertility affects 13% of reproductive age women in the United States per year. Women undergoing infertility have increased risk for poor psychological health. Stress, anxiety and depression are psychological factors affecting women’s physical, social, and infertility success. Targeted interventions have shown success in women undergoing infertility treatment, yet they are not always recommended by providers due to lack of knowledge.
This systematic review will describe the available interventions to improve psychological health for women undergoing infertility treatment. We will conclude with recommendations for healthcare providers serving this population. .
CINAHL and PubMED databases were searched for studies published between January 2015 to 2020. The articles were written in English and examined the effectiveness of non-pharmacological alternatives for managing stress, anxiety and depression in women that are undergoing infertility treatment.
Results of literature search
This systematic review includes 17 studies between 2015 and 2020. All studies met inclusion and exclusion criteria. The psychological factors measured were stress, anxiety and depression.
Synthesis of evidence
This systematic review identified research studies utilizing acupuncture, expressive writing, music therapy, yoga, counseling, mind /body/spirit, e-therapy, and social support as interventions to improve psychological health in women undergoing infertility treatment. Acupuncture, expressive writing, yoga, mind/body/spirit, counseling and social support showed significant improvement in stress and anxiety with a decrease in depressive symptoms. Music therapy and e-therapy did not show significant improvements, yet results trended in that direction and no psychological harm was evident from any intervention. Music therapy was also effective with pain management during egg retrievals.
Implications for practice
Utilizing targeted interventions described above are potential ways to help decrease stress, anxiety, and depressive symptoms in women seeking infertility treatment. Healthcare providers can provide education to patients about these interventions that are evidence based in order to help improve the psychological well-being of these women and improve quality of life.
The Effectiveness of Non-pharmacological Alternatives for Managaing Stress, Anxiety and Depression in Women Undergoing Infertility Treatment