3 years ago

Little information about fertility preservation is provided for cancer patients: A survey of oncologists’ knowledge, attitude and current practice

Samira Vesali, Behnaz Navid, Maryam Mohammadi, Elaheh Karimi, Reza Omani-Samani

Abstract

The objective of this survey was to explore the knowledge, attitude and current practice of Iranian oncologists about fertility preservation (FP) services provided to cancer patients. Oncologists who completed this survey were a convenience sample of 103 specialists in radiation oncology and haematology who attended large national and international congresses and symposia across Iran. A 23‐item self‐administered questionnaire included questions on knowledge, attitudes and practice. The most well known of the FP methods among Iranian oncologists were gonadotropin‐releasing hormone therapy and sperm cryopreservation, with scores of 2.77 (1.10) and 2.64 (1.00) respectively. These scores were above the median value of 2.5 on a 4‐point Likert scale, in contrast to a mean knowledge score across all the FP options of 2.25 (0.71). With regard to attitudes, age was the most important reason for discussing FP with patients, mean score 3.75 (0.54), while heredity was the least important, mean score 2.98 (0.87). In terms of practice, most oncologists did not provide their patients with written information about FP. However, 74 (72.5%) said they referred cancer patients on to reproductive specialists. This sample of Iranian oncologists would benefit from more information on FP methods and prevent loss of fertility among cancer patients.

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