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Barriers and facilitators towards fertility preservation care for cancer patients: A meta-synthesis

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Nikoletta Panagiotopoulou, Dr Raveen Sandher, Professor Mary Herbert, Dr Jane Stewart


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© 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Infertility is a potential late-effect of cancer treatment, which negatively impact on young cancer survivors' quality of life. This paper aims to synthesise factors that influence patients', carers' and healthcare professionals' decision to engage in fertility preservation programmes at the time of cancer diagnosis. Four databases and grey literature were systematically searched to identify qualitative and mixed-method studies published between 2000 and 2015. Thematic framework and synthesis were used to analyse and synthesise the data. Thirty-seven papers were selected and represented. Factors that affect engagement of patients, carers and healthcare providers in fertility preservation care can be grouped as intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic factors include patients' attitudes, health beliefs and health literacy; clinicians' approaches and skills; as well as doctor-patient relationships. Extrinsic factors include fertility preservation care resources and institutional characteristics. We conclude that existing qualitative literature highlights the complex convergences of intrinsic and extrinsic factors that impede successful engagement in fertility preservation care. Addressing these factors could help cancer survivors achieve better health outcomes and improve their wellbeing. Potential solutions include attitudinal changes and organisational skill reforms across the health community that will help ensure a person's goals are always at the centre of their cancer care.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Panagiotopoulou N, Ghuman N, Sandher R, Herbert M, Stewart JA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: European Journal of Cancer Care

Year: 2018

Volume: 27

Issue: 1

Print publication date: 01/01/2018

Online publication date: 17/12/2015

Acceptance date: 12/11/2015

ISSN (print): 0961-5423

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2354

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell


DOI: 10.1111/ecc.12428


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