Creating Affiliations, Learning, and Mindfulness for In Vitro Fertilization patients (CALM IVF): A clinical trial

Open AccessPublished:January 07, 2023DOI:
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      Structured abstract


      Determine if group psychoeducational support can improve in vitro fertilization (IVF) patients’ quality of life (QoL)


      Randomized controlled trial (NCT04048772)


      Women (n=76) and male partners undergoing initial autologous IVF cycle 8/2019 – 12/2020.


      Couples were assigned to groups based upon projected oocyte retrieval date. Groups were randomly assigned to the control or intervention arm. Clinic closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic delayed treatment for a portion of participants. Groups were conducted in person prior to- and virtually during the pandemic.

      Main Outcome Measures

      The primary outcome was change in FertiQoL from baseline to 3 days after retrieval. Secondary outcomes were change in depression (PHQ-9), anxiety (GAD-7), resilience (Connor-Davidson Resilience scale), and IVF knowledge scores, and likelihood of return to treatment.


      Knowledge scores among women in CALM IVF groups significantly increased compared with control (mean difference 13.19 [3.53 – 22.84], p=0.011) prior to the pandemic. During the pandemic, women in CALM IVF had significant improvement in the social FertiQoL score compared to controls (10.42 [1.79 – 19.04], p=0.023). Compared to controls, male CALM IVF participants had significantly greater improvement in total FertiQoL (mean difference 6.68 [0.39 – 12.98], p=0.039), treatment FertiQoL (8.26 [0.69 – 15.82], p=0.034), and resilience (Connor-Davidson 1.13 [0.54 – 1.72], p=0.001). Immediate return to care did not significantly differ between arms.


      For women undergoing IVF, group psychoeducational programs can improve IVF knowledge and social QoL during a pandemic. Participation in a group psychoeducational program can improve QoL and resilience in IVF dyad male partners.