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J Psychosoc Oncol. 2018 Jul-Aug;36(4):484-502. doi: 10.1080/07347332.2018.1443986. Epub 2018 May 15.

Factors influencing the provision of fertility counseling and impact on quality of life in adolescents and young adults with cancer.

Author information

1
a center for Behavioural Research in Cancer, Cancer Council Victoria , Melbourne , Victoria , Australia.
2
b Peter MacCallum Cancer center , Melbourne , Victoria , Australia.
3
j Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne , Parkville , Victoria , Australia.
4
c Children's Cancer center, The Royal Children's Hospital , Parkville , Victoria , Australia.
5
k Murdoch Childrens Research Institute , Parkville , Victoria , Australia.
6
g Princess Margaret Hospital for Children , Subiaco , Western Australia , Australia.
7
h Royal Adelaide Hospital , Adelaide , South Australia , Australia.
8
i Royal Hobart Hospital , Hobart , Tasmania , Australia.
9
d Sydney Children's Hospital , Randwick , New South Wales , Australia.
10
e Prince of Wales Hospital , Randwick , New South Wales , Australia.
11
f School of Women's and Children's Health, University of New South Wales , Randwick , New South Wales , Australia.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

This study investigated the impact of fertility-related discussions on Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) cancer patients' quality of life (QoL) and the factors influencing provision of these discussions.

METHODS:

Recruitment was conducted through population-based state cancer registries. Eligible AYAs were 15-24 years at diagnosis, 3-24 months postdiagnosis, with any cancer (except early stage melanoma). As part of a larger survey, AYAs were asked about their experiences of fertility-related discussions and QoL (FACT-G).

RESULTS:

Of the 207 AYAs returning surveys (29% response rate) 88% reported a discussion about infertility risks, 75% reported a discussion about preservation options and 59% were offered a referral to a fertility specialist. Patients attending health services with an AYA focus were more likely than those attending other types of centers to report discussions of fertility preservation (FP) options (85% versus 67%) and referrals (75% versus 49%). Social well-being was positively related to discussions about preservation options and being provided fertility risk information in a sensitive, supportive manner.

CONCLUSIONS:

Providing a sensitive and proactive discussion about fertility-related risks may benefit AYAs' well-being. Services with an AYA focus are fulfilling their mandate of ensuring optimal fertility-related care for AYA cancer patients.

KEYWORDS:

AYA; adolescent and young adults; cancer; fertility risk; quality of life

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