Patient-centred infertility care: a qualitative study to listen to the patient's voice

Hum Reprod. 2011 Apr;26(4):827-33. doi: 10.1093/humrep/der022. Epub 2011 Feb 11.


BACKGROUND High-quality care for patients faced with infertility should be patient-centred. Few studies have provided in-depth insights into the patient's perspective on care and, to the best of our knowledge, no study has provided a model of the complex concept 'patient-centred infertility care'. Therefore, a qualitative study aimed at understanding 'patient-centred infertility care' from the patient's perspective was conducted. METHODS Fourteen focus group discussions were organized with patients (n = 103) from two European countries to find out about patients' positive and negative experiences with infertility care. Content analysis of the transcripts and analysis of patients' priority lists were conducted. RESULTS The patient-centredness of infertility care depends on 10 detailed dimensions, which can be divided into system and human factors, and there is a two-way interaction between both kinds of factors. System factors, in order of patient's priority, are: provision of information, competence of clinic and staff, coordination and integration, accessibility, continuity and transition and physical comfort. Human factors, in order of patient's priority, are: attitude of and relationship with staff, communication, patient involvement and privacy and emotional support. CONCLUSIONS This study provides a detailed patient's description of the concept 'patient-centred infertility care' and an interaction model that aids understanding of the concept. Fertility clinics are encouraged to improve the patient-centredness of their care by taking into account the detailed description of the dimensions of patient-centred infertility care, and by paying attention to both system and human factors and their interaction when setting up 'patient-centred improvement projects'.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Communication
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Infertility / therapy*
  • Male
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Patient Participation
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Patient-Centered Care / methods*
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Program Evaluation
  • Reproductive Medicine / methods*
  • Reproductive Medicine / trends