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Randomized controlled trial on the effect of an online decision aid for young female cancer patients regarding fertility preservation


Ehrbar, Verena; Urech, Corinne; Rochlitz, Christoph; Zanetti Dällenbach, Rosanna; Moffat, Rebecca; Stiller, Ruth; Germeyer, Ariane; Nawroth, Frank; Dangel, Astrid; Findeklee, Sebastian; Tschudin, Sibil (2019). Randomized controlled trial on the effect of an online decision aid for young female cancer patients regarding fertility preservation. Human Reproduction, 34(9):1726-1734.

Abstract

STUDY QUESTION: Does the use of an online decision aid (DA) about fertility preservation (FP), in addition to standard counselling by a specialist in reproductive medicine, reduce decisional conflict compared to standard counselling alone?
SUMMARY ANSWER: Female cancer patients who could make use of the online DA had a significantly lower short-term decisional conflict score.
WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: Nowadays, female cancer patients have several options for preserving fertility, but having to decide whether to opt for FP within a short time frame after cancer diagnosis and before the start of treatment is challenging. According to previous studies focussing mainly on breast cancer patients, decisional conflict among these women is high, and they have expressed the need for additional support.
STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION:
The study was a randomized controlled trial including female cancer patients who were referred by their treating oncologist to a specialist in reproductive medicine for fertility counselling. Participants were randomly assigned to the control group (counselling only) or to the intervention group (counselling and additional use of the online DA immediately after counselling). Recruitment was ongoing from July 2016 to December 2017 at eight fertility centres in Switzerland and Germany.
PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: The online DA was developed by an interdisciplinary team of specialists in reproductive medicine, gynaecologists, oncologists and psychologists. Of 79 recruited participants, 59 completed the first assessment and could therefore be enrolled in the study. They were asked to complete an online questionnaire at three time points: at T1, after counselling (control group, n = 27) or after counselling and the additional use of the DA (intervention group, n = 24); at T2, 1 month later (N = 41: control group, n = 23; intervention group, n = 18); and at T3, 12 months later (N = 37: control group, n = 20; intervention group, n = 17). The survey comprised questions about fertility-related knowledge, attitude towards FP, willingness to undergo FP and socio-demographic data, as well as the decisional conflict and decisional regret scales.

Abstract

STUDY QUESTION: Does the use of an online decision aid (DA) about fertility preservation (FP), in addition to standard counselling by a specialist in reproductive medicine, reduce decisional conflict compared to standard counselling alone?
SUMMARY ANSWER: Female cancer patients who could make use of the online DA had a significantly lower short-term decisional conflict score.
WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: Nowadays, female cancer patients have several options for preserving fertility, but having to decide whether to opt for FP within a short time frame after cancer diagnosis and before the start of treatment is challenging. According to previous studies focussing mainly on breast cancer patients, decisional conflict among these women is high, and they have expressed the need for additional support.
STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION:
The study was a randomized controlled trial including female cancer patients who were referred by their treating oncologist to a specialist in reproductive medicine for fertility counselling. Participants were randomly assigned to the control group (counselling only) or to the intervention group (counselling and additional use of the online DA immediately after counselling). Recruitment was ongoing from July 2016 to December 2017 at eight fertility centres in Switzerland and Germany.
PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: The online DA was developed by an interdisciplinary team of specialists in reproductive medicine, gynaecologists, oncologists and psychologists. Of 79 recruited participants, 59 completed the first assessment and could therefore be enrolled in the study. They were asked to complete an online questionnaire at three time points: at T1, after counselling (control group, n = 27) or after counselling and the additional use of the DA (intervention group, n = 24); at T2, 1 month later (N = 41: control group, n = 23; intervention group, n = 18); and at T3, 12 months later (N = 37: control group, n = 20; intervention group, n = 17). The survey comprised questions about fertility-related knowledge, attitude towards FP, willingness to undergo FP and socio-demographic data, as well as the decisional conflict and decisional regret scales.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Reproductive Endocrinology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Reproductive Medicine
Health Sciences > Obstetrics and Gynecology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Rehabilitation, Reproductive Medicine
Language:English
Date:29 September 2019
Deposited On:14 Feb 2020 12:40
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 14:25
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0268-1161
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/humrep/dez136
PubMed ID:31398258

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