How does stress, depression and anxiety affect patients undergoing treatment?

Jacky Boivin
Current Opinion in Obstetrics & Gynecology 2019, 31 (3): 195-199

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To review latest findings about the impact of fertility care on emotional distress and effect of distress on treatment outcome.

RECENT FINDINGS: Treatment failure and long agonist protocols are associated with increased emotional distress during treatment. Screening tools can be used to identify men and women at risk of emotional maladjustment at the start of fertility treatment and people unlikely to need emotional support during or after treatment. There are inconclusive results about the association between emotional distress and outcome of fertility treatment. Systematic review of studies evaluating the effect of psychological and educational interventions on anxiety, depression and live birth (or ongoing pregnancy) are uninformative because of clinical heterogeneity and risk of bias.

SUMMARY: ART is emotionally demanding, patients that adapt more poorly can be identified in advance. Fertility staff should follow good practice guidelines to provide patients with support during treatment.

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