Empowering patients undergoing in vitro fertilization by providing Internet access to medical data

Fertil Steril. 2007 Aug;88(2):361-8. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2006.11.197. Epub 2007 Apr 9.


Objective: To study the effect of an Internet-based personal health record on the empowerment of patients undergoing IVF.

Design: Randomized clinical trial.

Setting: Patients undergoing IVF and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) in an academic research environment.

Patient(s): We selected patients who were undergoing an IVF or ICSI treatment, have an Internet connection, and speak fluent Dutch.

Intervention(s): An Internet-based personal health record that provides patients with general and personal information concerning their given treatment and that also provides facilities for communication with fellow patients and physicians.

Main outcome measure(s): Patient empowerment (measured as a multidimensional concept consisting of self-efficacy, actual and perceived knowledge, and involvement in the decision process), patient satisfaction, meaning of infertility problems, social support, anxiety, and depression.

Result(s): A total of 91 female and 89 male participants were suitable for analysis. No significant differences were observed in per person change in patient empowerment. We did not find any significant differences regarding per person change in patient satisfaction, the meaning of infertility problems, social support, anxiety, and depression.

Conclusion(s): Usage of the personal health record did not have any effects on patient empowerment, but, at the same time, the study did not find that the personal health record had any significant adverse effects either.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Access to Information
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Male
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Patient Access to Records* / psychology
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Power, Psychological*
  • Sperm Injections, Intracytoplasmic / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires