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Patient experience of infertility management in primary care: an in-depth interview study

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Scott Wilkes, Dr Nicola HallORCiD, Professor Alison Murdoch, Emeritus Professor Greg RubinORCiD


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Objective. To explore the patient experience of infertility management from a primary care perspective. Methods. This was a nested qualitative study with infertile couples in North-East England. In-depth interviews of infertile couples identified in the course of an observational study describing the incidence, prevalence, referral patterns and pregnancy outcomes for infertile couples. A grounded approach was used, with the interviews and analysis proceeding together using the method of constant comparison. Emergent themes and their links gave an overall explanation to the interview data. Results. We interviewed 22 patients in 13 interviews. Factors that influenced a couple's experience of infertility management were personal and professional relationships, patient autonomy in decision making and access to services. Conclusions. This study provides insights into the experiences of infertile couples seeking assisted reproduction from their GP. A good experience was linked to a strong personal relationship, a patient-centred professional relationship fostering informed decision making by the couple, GPs using diagnostic resources, interpreting restrictive clinical and social criteria and referring appropriately.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wilkes S, Hall N, Crosland A, Murdoch A, Rubin G

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Family Practice

Year: 2009

Volume: 26

Issue: 4

Pages: 309-316

Print publication date: 01/08/2009

Online publication date: 17/06/2009

ISSN (print): 0263-2136

ISSN (electronic): 1460-2229

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/fampra/cmp039


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