The Effectiveness of Counseling with a Cognitive-Behavioral Approach on Infertile Women’s Stress
Aim: Infertility is defined as failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse. It is a major crisis, triggering psychological stress for most people, and can cause many negative psychological reactions. This study aimed to explore the effects of group counseling sessions by a cognitive approach on infertile women’s stress.
Materials and methods: In this study, 50 infertile women who were referred to an infertility center were selected using convenient sampling. The selected participants were randomly assigned to two groups: experimental and control. First, the Newton Infertility Stress questionnaire was filled as a pre-test by both groups. The control group had no counseling, while the experimental group received 10 sessions of group counseling in the field of stress management and controlling irrational thoughts about infertility during a two-week period. After this time, both groups completed the same questionnaire again and the obtained data were analyzed.
Results: In this study, a significant difference in the mean score of all five aspects of the infertility specific total stress questionnaire and that of total stress after counseling (P = 0.002) was found between the experimental and control groups.
Conclusion: The study showed the effects of group counseling by a participatory approach on infertility specific stress
Keywords: group counseling, infertility, infertility specific distress, reproductive health collaborative model