The Partnership and Coping Enhancement Programme for couples undergoing in vitro fertilization treatment: the development of a complex intervention in China

Liying Ying, Xiaomin Chen, Lai Har Wu, Jing Shu, Xiangli Wu, Jean Tak Alice Loke Yuen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Couples as dyads suffer from the diagnosis of infertility and related treatment. These couples commonly experience emotional and physical pain and tension in their marital lives. The purpose of this study is to report on the process of developing a potentially feasible and effective complex intervention for couples undergoing in vitro fertilization treatment in China. Methods: The Medical Research Council (MRC) framework for developing and evaluating the complex intervention was adopted to guide the development of the Partnership and Coping Enhancement Programme (PCEP). In developing the PCEP, three steps were taken, namely, (1) identifying evidence by conducting literature reviews, a concept analysis and a qualitative study; (2) identifying/developing a theory—in this case, a preliminary Endurance with Partnership Conceptual Framework (P-EPCF) was proposed; and (3) modelling the process and outcomes of the PCEP. Results: The PCEP that was developed is targeted mainly at the domains of the partnership mediators of stress in the P-EPCF. It consists of two sections—partnership and coping—and will be delivered to infertile couples on the day of embryo transfer. The main focuses of the programme are to facilitate mutual sharing and support in infertile couples, and to improve their individual and dyadic coping strategies while undergoing IVF treatment, especially in the period when they are waiting for the results of a pregnancy test and after the disclosure of a negative treatment outcome. The programme is couple-based, consisting of experience sharing, psychoeducation, meditation exercise, skill practise and supplemental written materials. Conclusions: The Partnership and Coping Enhancement Programme (PCEP) for couples undergoing in vitro fertilization treatment was developed according to the guideline of the MRC framework. It is recommended that a pilot study be conducted to evaluate its feasibility and to model the process and outcomes of the programme.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-108
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Coping
  • Couple-based intervention
  • In vitro fertilization
  • Infertility
  • Marital benefit
  • Partnership
  • Psychological well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Genetics(clinical)

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