Fertility preservation consultation for women with cancer: are we helping patients make high-quality decisions?

Reprod Biomed Online. 2013 Jul;27(1):96-103. doi: 10.1016/j.rbmo.2013.03.004. Epub 2013 Mar 26.


To investigate the efficacy of the current fertility preservation consultation process in patients' decision-making and socio-demographic and cognitive factors that may affect patients' decision-making, a prospective pilot survey was conducted at university-based IVF centres and included women aged 18-43 years seen for fertility preservation between April 2009 and December 2010. Patients' views on consultation and decision-making about fertility preservation were measured. Among 52 women who completed the survey, more than half (52%) requested their consultation. All patients answered that consultation was a helpful resource of information, and 73% made their decision about treatment after consultation. Decisional conflict was lower in patients who felt strongly that they were given opportunities to ask questions during the consultation (P=0.001) and higher those who reported that cost was strongly influential in the treatment decision (P<0.001) and who did not receive treatment (P<0.001). Although consultation appeared to play a critical role in patients' decision-making about fertility preservation, the referral rate for consultation by oncologists is still poor. Decision-making appears to be significantly impaired in patients grappling with financial concerns and when the opportunity to ask questions is not felt to be sufficient.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy
  • Decision Making*
  • Female
  • Fertility Preservation* / economics
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Prospective Studies
  • Referral and Consultation*