Cardiff Uni announces ‘pioneering’ support app for fertility struggles

Cardiff University has developed what it calls a ‘pioneering research-based app’ to provide support and advice for people who are unable to fulfil their wish to have children.
The app – MyJourney – is from the University’s Fertility Studies Research Group at the School of Psychology. Created in collaboration with the fertility charities APFertilidade and Fertility Network UK, it aims to give expert advice, information and ‘step-by-step support’ for those struggling with fertility problems.
Both men and women are being invited to sign-up and help trial the app, which is aimed at ‘all people, regardless of gender or circumstance’, with the hope that it will be rolled out for use over summer 2021.
The free self-help app is described as an ‘interactive programme’ and is based on contextual cognitive behavioural therapy. Within this, the focus is on ‘acceptance and commitment therapy’, as well as mindfulness-style support.
Doctoral researcher Bethan Rowbottom, who developed the intervention as part of her PhD, said: “When people reach the end of their journey to have children and they’re not able to fulfil that wish they need time to adjust – and this can be really challenging.
“Our research suggests guided psychosocial support can help with this long-term adjustment and it may also encourage people to seek further support if they feel they need it.”
Context includes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, with potential side-effects ranging from cancelled fertility treatments to financial worries and beyond.
Dr Sofia Gameiro, research group lead, said: “Our research regularly identifies that people face various psychological challenges, such as grief, when dealing with an unfulfilled wish for children.
“Up until now, there was no easily accessible research-based intervention to support those who are coming to terms with this loss. MyJourney aims to plug this gap and provide user-friendly step-by-step support to help people to deal with difficult thoughts, feelings and situations.”
Based on ‘extensive published research’ the technology invites users to take part in a 10-step, 10-week process that becomes better tailored to individuals, the more that they use it.
The new app is funded by Cardiff University, the Portuguese Fertility Association and the Economic and Social Research Council.
Almost 150 people have taken part in the trial so far, with researchers hoping for more recruits before reaching the goal of a summer release.
You can find out more about the trial and how to sign up at the MyJourney site.
The post Cardiff Uni announces ‘pioneering’ support app for fertility struggles appeared first on htn.

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