What is it about?

The aim of this study is to analyse the experience of fertility preservation among female oncological patients. A phenomenological study was conducted in an Assisted Human Reproduction Unit. The sample was composed of 14 females of reproductive age diagnosed with a cancer that may affect reproductive function, who had undergone a fertility preservation procedure. In-depth interviews were carried out, and the transcripts were entred into the Atlas.ti.v.8.2.3 qualitative analysis software package. The steps proposed by Taylor–Bogdan were followed in the analysis of the data.

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Why is it important?

As regards fertility preservation in oncology patients, there is an increasing number of studies describing the techniques and the success rates of the different options (Arecco et al., 2022; Chen et al., 2022). However, there is a lack of knowledge about patients' specific needs, fears or feelings about the procedure for fertility preservation when they are diagnosed with cancer (Dahhan et al., 2021; Hoffman et al., 2021). Nursing professionals should base their care on an understanding of what people feel or experience when they are facing an event that destabilises their daily life, as cancer does (Errasti Ibarrondo et al., 2018; Guerrero-Castañeda et al., 2017).

Perspectives

These findings suggest important implications for practice. The results provide relevant knowledge about patients' experiences of fertility preservation that could help professionals informing and advising them. There is a need for holistic care, considering the person affected by the disorder and the specific characteristics. Current evidence suggests that there is a need for comprehensive policies that reflect the individual's needs (Mollica et al., 2017). This seems to be even more important among young adults, a population in which the illness clearly interrupts their life at an especially critical point in the lifespan. Holistic and multidimensional approaches to the design and implementation of tailored interventions to promote well-being are critical in addressing the complexity of the care recipient as biopsychosocial and spiritual beings.

Lara Del Valle Fayos
Hospital Universitario y Politécnico La Fe

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This page is a summary of: The experience of female oncological patients and fertility preservation: A phenomenology study, European Journal of Cancer Care, November 2022, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/ecc.13757.
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