Introduction Infertility is an acute life crisis with psychological consequences which may last for an indeterminate length of time and one of the greatest challenges of infertile women is coping with this crisis. The present study was designed to examine the effect of collaborative counselling model on stress and coping strategies in infertile women undergoing IVF in 2010 in Iran.
Methods In this clinical trial, 60 women with primary infertility were randomly selected from Montaserieh Research Centre in Mashhad and were allocated to intervention and control groups. Women in intervention group were counselled in five meetings with collaboration of midwife, gynaecologist and clinical psychologist. Control group received routine cares. Infertility-related stress and coping strategies were measured at the beginning and embryo transfer day using Fertility Problem Inventory and Ways of Coping questionnaire. Data were analysed using statistical tests including t test and Mann–Whitney.
Results A significant difference was found between two groups in terms of total perceived infertility-related stress score (p<0.048). The amount of stress reduction in intervention group was nearly 3.6 times of control group. There was also a significant difference between two groups in terms of problem focused coping strategies (p<0.003). Infertile women used more focused coping strategies in comparison to emotional focused coping strategies.
Conclusion Conducting collaborative counselling can decrease infertile women's perceived stress and increase the use of problem focused coping strategies. It is therefore recommended to use collaborative counselling approaches in order to help infertile women better come to terms with their stressful situation.