Send to

Choose Destination
Res Theory Nurs Pract. 2013;27(4):257-75.

Toward theoretical understanding of the fertility preservation decision-making process: examining information processing among young women with cancer.

Author information

Department of Women, Children and Family Health Science, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA.
Department of Women, Children and Family Health Science, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA.
University of Illinois at Chicago, Fertility Centers of Illinois, Chicago, USA.



Young women with cancer now face the complex decision about whether to undergo fertility preservation. Yet little is known about how these women process information involved in making this decision.


The purpose of this article is to expand theoretical understanding of the decision-making process by examining aspects of information processing among young women diagnosed with cancer.


Using a grounded theory approach, 27 women with cancer participated in individual, semistructured interviews. Data were coded and analyzed using constant-comparison techniques that were guided by 5 dimensions within the Contemplate phase of the decision-making process framework.


In the first dimension, young women acquired information primarily from clinicians and Internet sources. Experiential information, often obtained from peers, occurred in the second dimension. Preferences and values were constructed in the third dimension as women acquired factual, moral, and ethical information. Women desired tailored, personalized information that was specific to their situation in the fourth dimension; however, women struggled with communicating these needs to clinicians. In the fifth dimension, women offered detailed descriptions of clinician behaviors that enhance or impede decisional debriefing.


Better understanding of theoretical underpinnings surrounding women's information processes can facilitate decision support and improve clinical care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center