The mediating role of optimism and resilience on emotional distress in infertility: an integrative literature review
Diana Santa-Cruz1, Soledad Chamorro2, Juan A. Garcia-Velasco1
1IVI-RMA Madrid and Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid, Spain
2IVI RMA MADRID.
Objective: To find any role of optimism and/or resilience mediating emotional distress in infertility. Method: We performed a literature search for 2000–2017 in PubMed, PsycINFO and Elsevier, for original articles and reviews, using keywords “resilience,” “infertility,” “optimism,” “LOT-R,” “in vitro fertilization,” and “assisted reproductive technology.” Additional references were collected from articles located thereby. Results: The evidence reveals a growing trend of promoting people´s positive health assets and indicates significant negative associations of optimism and resilience with anxiety and depression and positive associations with self-esteem and perception of control. It seems optimism and resilience heavily influence physical and mental health and diminishes emotional distress due to infertility. Discussion: This review highlights the importance of the development of therapeutic and preventive interventions increasing optimism and resilience against affective dysregulation and emotional distress caused by infertility.
Keywords: Assisted reproductive technology (ART); Infertility; optimism; Resilience, Emotional distress
How to cite this article:
Diana Santa-Cruz, Soledad Chamorro, Juan A. Garcia-Velasco. The mediating role of optimism and resilience on emotional distress in infertility: an integrative literature review. International Journal of Psychological Research and Reviews, 2019, 2:22. DOI: 10.28933/ijprr-2019-09-2105
1. Cousineau TM, Domar AD. The psychological impact of infertility. Best Pract Res. 2007;21(2):293–308.
2. Donarelli Z, Lo Coco G, Gullo S, et al. Infertility-related stress, anxiety and ovarian stimulation: can couples be reassured about the effects of psychological factors on biological responses to assisted reproductive technology? Reprod Biomed Soc Online. 2016;3:16–23.
3. Hämmerli K, Znoj H, Barth J. The efficacy of psychological interventions for infertile patients: a meta-analysis examining mental health and pregnancy rate. Hum Reprod Updat. 2009;15(3):279–295.
4. Domar AD, Rooney KL, Wiegand B, et al. Impact of a group mind/body intervention on pregnancy rates in IVF patients. Fertil Steril. 2011;95(7):2269–2273.
5. Domar AD, Meshay I, Kelliher J, et al. The impact of acupuncture on in vitro fertilization outcome. Fertil Steril 2009;91(3):723–726.
6. Boivin J, Griffiths E, Venetis CA. Emotional distress in infertile women and failure of assisted reproductive technologies: a meta-analysis of prospective psychosocial studies. BMJ. 2011;342:d223.
7. Rockliff HE, Lightman SL, Rhidian E, et al. A systematic review of psychosocial factors associated with emotional adjustment in in vitro fertilization patients. Hum Reprod Updat. 2014;20(4):594–613.
8. Verhaak CM, Smeenk JMJ, Nahuis MJ, et al. Long-term psychological adjustment to IVF/ICSI treatment in women. Hum Reprod. 2007;22(1):305–308.
9. Verhaak CM, Smeenk JMJ, van Minnen A, et al. A longitudinal, prospective study on emotional adjustment before, during and after consecutive fertility treatment cycles. Hum Reprod. 2005;20(8):2253–2260.
10. Williams KE, Marsh WK, Rasgon NI. Mood disorders and fertility in women: a critical review of the literature and implications for future research. Hum Reprod Updat. 2007;13(6):607–616.
11. Carver CS, Scheier MF. Dispositional optimism. Trends Cogn Sci. 2014;18(6):293–299.
12. Carver CS, Scheier MF, Segerstrom SC. Optimism. Clin Psychol Rev. 2010;30(7):879–889.
13. Brissette I, Scheier MF, Carver CS. The role of optimism in social network development, coping, and psychological adjustment during a life transition. J Personal Soc Psychol, 2002;82(1):102–111.
14. Brydon L, Walker C, Wawrzyniak AJ, et al. Dispositional optimism and stress-induced changes in immunity and negative mood. Brain Behav Immun 2009;23(6):810–816.
15. Conversano C, Rotondo A, Lensi E, et al. Optimism and its impact on mental and physical well-being. Clin Pract Epidemiol Ment Health 2010;6:25–29.
16. Robakis TK, Williams KE, Crowe S, et al. Optimistic outlook regarding maternity protects against depressive symptoms postpartum. Arch Women’s Ment Health, 2015;18(2):197–208.
17. Solberg Nes L. Stress: concepts, cognition, emotion, and behavior. Amsterdam (the Netherlands): Elsevier Inc.; 2016. Chapter 51, Optimism, pessimism, and stress; p. 405–411.
18. Cousins LA, Cohen LL, Venable,C. Risk and resilience in pediatric chronic pain: Exploring the protective role of optimism. J Pediatr Psychol. 2014;40(9):934–942.
19. Kleiman EM, Chiara AM, Liu RT. Optimism and well-being: a prospective multi-method and multi-dimensional examination of optimism as a resilience factor following the occurrence of stressful life events. Cogn Emot. 2017;31(2):269–283.
20. Mosing MA, Zietsch BP, Shekar SN, et al. Genetic and environmental influences on optimism and its relationship to mental and self-rated health: a study of ageing twins. Behav Genet. 2009;39(6):597–604.
21. He F, Cao R, Feng Z, et al. The impacts of dispositional optimism and psychological resilience on the subjective well-being of burn patients: a structural equation modelling analysis. Plos One. 2013;8(12):8–12.
22. Hinz A, Sander C, Glaesmer H, et al. Optimism and pessimism in the general population: psychometric properties of the Life Orientation Test (LOT-R). Int J Clin Health Psychol. 2017;17(2):161–170.
23. Peterson CP, Seligman ME, Vaillant GE, et al. Pessimistic explanatory style is a risk factor for physical illness: a thirty-five-year longitudinal study. J Personal Soc Psychol. 1988;55(1):23–27.
24. Karademas EC, Karvelis S, Argyropoulou K. Short communication: stress-related predictors of optimism in breast cancer survivors. Stress Health. 2007;23(3):161–168.
25. Segerstrom SC, Taylor SE, Kemeny ME, et al. Optimism is associated with mood, coping, and immune change in response to stress. J Personal Soc Psychol. 1998;74(6):1646–1655.
26. Gong E, Yan LL, Yan LL. Editorial on “Optimism and cause-specific mortality: a prospective cohort study.” J Public Health Emerg. 2017;11851.
27. Kim ES, Hagan KA, Grodstein F, et al. Optimism and cause-specific mortality: A prospective cohort study. Am J Epidemiol. 2017;185(1):21–29.
28. Plomin R, Scheier M, Bergeman C, et al. Optimism, pessimism and mental health: a twin/adoption analysis. Personal Individ Differ. 1992;13(8):921–930.
29. Heinonen K, Räikkönen K, Matthews KA, et al. Socioeconomic status in childhood and adulthood: associations with dispositional optimism and pessimism over a 21-year follow-up. J Personal. 2006;74(4):1111–1126.
30. Heinonen K, Räikkönen K, Keltikangas-Järvinen L. Self-esteem in early and late adolescence predicts dispositional optimism-pessimism in adulthood: a 21-year longitudinal study. Personal Individ Differ. 2005;39(3):511–521.
31. Wang ZY, Liu L, Shi M. Exploring correlations between positive psychological resources and symptoms of psychological distress among haematological cancer patients: a cross-sectional study.Psychol Health Med. 2016;21(5):571–582.
32. Rasmussen HN, Scheier MF, Greenhouse JB. Optimism and physical health: a meta-analytic review. Ann Behav Med. 2009;37:239–256.
33. Andersson, G. The benefits of optimism: a meta-analytic review of the Life Orientation Test. Personality Individ Differ. 1996;21(5):719–725.
34. Loh J, Harms C, Harman B. Effects of parental stress, optimism, and health-promoting behaviours on the quality of life of primiparous and multiparous mothers. Nurs Res. 2017;66(3):231–239.
35. Malouff JM, Schutte NS. Can psychological interventions increase optimism? A meta-analysis. J Pos Psychol. 2017;12(6):594–604.
36. Soliah LL. The role of optimism regarding nutrition and health behavior. Am J Lifestyle Med. 2011;5(1):63–68.
37. Dag H, Yigitoglu S, Aksakal BI, et al. The association between coping method and distress in infertile woman: a cross-sectional study from Turkey. Pak J Med Sci. 2015;31(6):1457–1462.
38. Kirchner T, Muñoz D, Forns M, et al. Identifying by means of coping typologies and primary appraisal the likelihood of positive β-hCG test results in women undergoing IVF treatment: a preliminary study. Hum Reprod. 2011;26(5):1138–1143.
39. Rapoport-Hubschman N, Gidron Y, Reicher-Atir R. et al. “Letting go” coping is associated with successful IVF treatment outcome. Fertil Steril. 2009;92(4):1384–1388.
40. Mahajan NN, Turnbull DA, Davies MJ, et al. Adjustment to infertility: the role of intrapersonal and interpersonal resources/vulnerabilities. Hum Reprod. 2009;24(4):906–912.
41. Segerstrom SC, Miller GE. Psychological stress and the human immune system: a meta-analytic study of 30 years of inquiry. Psychol Bull. 2004;130(4):601–630.
42. Segerstrom SC, Sephton SE. Optimistic expectancies and cell-mediated immunity: the role of positive affect. Psychol. Sci. 2010;21(3):448–455.
43. Dolcos S, Hu Y, Iordan AD. Optimism and the brain: trait optimism mediates the protective role of the orbitofrontal cortex grey matter volume against anxiety. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2015;11(2):263–271.
44. Antúnez JM, Navarro JF, Adan A. Circadian typology is related to resilience and optimism in healthy adults. Chronobiol. Int. 2015;32(4):524–530.
45. Chochovski J, Moss SA, Charman DP. Recovery after unsuccessful in vitro fertilization: the complex role of resilience and marital relationships. J Psychosom Obstet Gynecol. 2013;34(3):122–128.
46. Bieda, A., Hirschfeld, G., Schönfeld, P., et al. Universal happiness? Cross-cultural measurement invariance of scales assessing positive mental health. Psychol Assess. 2016;29(4):408–421.
47. Johnson, J., Panagioti, M., Bass, J., Ramsey, L., & Harrison, R. (2017). Resilience to emotional distress in response to failure, error or mistakes: A systematic review. Clinical Psychology Review, 52, 19–42. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2016.11.007
48. Mancini AD, Bonanno GA. Predictors and parameters of resilience to loss: toward an individual differences model. J Personal. 2009;77(6):1805–1832.
49. Driscoll MA, Davis MC, Aiken LS, et al. Psychosocial vulnerability, resilience resources, and coping with infertility: a longitudinal model of adjustment to primary ovarian insufficiency. An Behav Med. 2016;50(2):272–284.
50. Herrmann D, Scherg H, Verres R, et al. Resilience in infertile couples acts as a protective factor against infertility-specific distress and impaired quality of life. J Assist Reprod Genet. 2011;28(11):1111–1117.
51. Sexton MB, Byrd MR. Measuring resilience in women experiencing infertility using the CD-RISC: examining infertility-related stress, general distress, and coping styles. J Psychiatr Res. 2010;44(4):236–241.
52. Kuhl J, Kazén M, Koole SL. Putting self-regulation theory into practice: a user’s manual. Appl Psychol. 2006;55(3):408–418.
53. Abbey A, Halman LJ, Andrews FM. Psychosocial, treatment, and demographic predictors of the stress associated with infertility. Fertil Steril. 1992;57(1):122–128.
54. Lemmens GMD, Vervaeke M, Enzlin P, et al. Coping with infertility: a body-mind group intervention programme for infertile couples. Hum Reprod. 2004;19(8):1917–1923.
55. Pasch LA, Dunkel-Schetter C, Christensen A. Differences between husbands’ and wives’ approach to infertility affect marital communication and adjustment. Fertil Steril. 2002;77(6);1241–1247.
56. Peterson BD, Newton CR, Rosen KH, et al. Coping processes of couples experiencing infertility. Fam Rel. 2006;55(2):227–239.
57. Romano GA, Ravid H, Zaig I, et al. The psychological profile and affective response of women diagnosed with unexplained infertility undergoing in vitro fertilization. Arch Women’s Ment Health. 2012;15(6):403–411.
58. Pasch LA, Holley SR, Bleil ME, et al. Addressing the needs of fertility treatment patients and their partners: are they informed of and do they receive mental health services? Fertil Steril. 2016;106(1):209–215.
59. Frederiksen Y, Farver-Vestergaard I, Skovgard NG, et al. Efficacy of psychosocial interventions for psychological and pregnancy outcomes in infertile women and men: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ Open. 2015;5(1):e006592–e006592.
60. Coughlan C, Walters S, Ledger W, et al. A comparison of psychological stress among women with and without reproductive failure. Int J Gynecol Obstet. 2014;124(2):143–147.
61. Lancastle D, Boivin J. A feasibility study of a brief coping intervention (PRCI) for the waiting period before a pregnancy test during fertility treatment. Hum Reprod. 2008;23(10):2299–2307.
62. Litt MD, Tennen H, Affleck G, et al. Coping and cognitive factors in adaptation to in vitro fertilization failure. J Behav Med.1992;15(2):171–187.
63. Lancastle D, Boivin J. Dispositional optimism, trait anxiety, and coping: unique or shared effects on biological response to fertility treatment? Health Psychol. 2005;24(2):171–178.
64. Xiao E, Xia-Zhang L, Ferin M. Stress and the menstrual cycle: short- and long-term response to a five-day endotoxin challenge during the luteal phase in the Rhesus Monkey. J Clin Endocrinol Metabol. 1999;84(2):623–626.
65. Facchinetti F, Tarabusi M, Volpe A. Cognitive-behavioural treatment decreases cardiovascular and neuroendocrine reaction to stress in women waiting for assisted reproduction. Psychoneuroendocrinol. 2004;29(2):162–173.
66. Massey AJ, Campbell BK, Raine-Fenning N, et al. Relationship between hair and salivary cortisol and pregnancy in women undergoing IVF. Psychoneuroendocrinol. 2016;74:397–405.
67. Puig-Perez, S., Hackett, R. A., Salvador, A., & Steptoe, A. (2017). Optimism moderates psychophysiological responses to stress in older people with Type 2 diabetes. Psychophysiology, 54(4), 536–543.
68. Bleil ME, Pasch LA, Gregorich SE, et al. Fertility treatment response: is it better to be more optimistic or less pessimistic? Psychosom Med. 2012;74(2):193–199.
69. Sweeny K, Andrews SE, Nelson SK, et al. Waiting for a baby: navigating uncertainty in recollections of trying to conceive. Soc Sci Med. 2015;141:123–132.
70. McNaughton-Cassill ME, Bostwick JM, Arthur NJ, et al. Efficacy of brief couples support groups developed to manage the stress of in vitro fertilization treatment. Mayo Clin Proc. 2002;77(10):1060–1066.
71. Chang EC. Optimism–pessimism and stress appraisal: testing a cognitive interactive model of psychological adjustment in adults. Cogn Ther Res. 2002;26(5):675–690.
72. Geers AL, Wellman JA, Seligman LD, et al. Dispositional optimism, goals, and engagement in health treatment programsJ Behav Med. 2010;33(2):123–134.
73. Flykt, M., Lindblom, J., Punamäki, R.-L., et al. Prenatal expectations in transition to parenthood: former infertility and family dynamic considerations. J Fam Psychol. 2009;23(6):779–89.
74. Gameiro, S., Boivin, J., Dancet, E., et al. ESHRE guideline: routine psychosocial care in infertility and medically assisted reproduction—a guide for fertility staff. Hum Reprod. 2015;30(11):2476–2485.
75. Van den Broeck U, Emery M, Wischmann T, et al. Counselling in infertility: individual, couple and group interventions. Patient Educ Couns. 2010;81(3):422–428.
76. Seligman, M. (1990). Learned Optimism. New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc
77. Lazarus R et Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, appraisal and coping. New York: Springer