TitleDeveloping a post-treatment survivorship care plan to help breast cancer survivors understand their fertility.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsGorman, JR, Julian, AK, Roberts, SA, Romero, SAD, Ehren, JL, Krychman, ML, Boles, SG, Mao, J, H Su, I
JournalSupport Care Cancer
Date Published2017 Sep 14

PURPOSE: Reproductive-aged breast cancer survivors (BCS) who have completed initial cancer treatment frequently want to know about their future fertility potential. The purpose of this qualitative study was to assess if the fertility-related content presented in the survivorship care plan prototype met the informational needs of post-treatment BCS and to provide an opportunity for the target audience to review and react to the proposed content and design.

METHODS: We conducted and analyzed transcripts from seven focus groups with BCS to evaluate their reactions to the survivorship care plan prototype. We independently coded transcripts for consistent themes and sub-themes and used a consensus-building approach to agree on interpretation of results.

RESULTS: We identified five themes that describe the post-treatment BCS' responses to the prototype survivorship care plan in the context of their informational needs and experiences: (1) the prototype's fertility-related information is relevant; (2) desire for clinical parameters to help survivors understand their infertility risk; (3) fertility-related information is important throughout survivorship; (4) evidence-based content from a neutral source is trustworthy; and (5) the recommendation to see a fertility specialist is helpful, but cost is a barrier.

CONCLUSIONS: BCS have concerns and needs related to their fertility potential after initial breast cancer treatment. The evidence-based information offered in our prototype survivorship care plan was acceptable to BCS and has significant potential to address these needs. Additional primary data that identify post-cancer treatment indicators of fertility would advance this effort.

Alternate JournalSupport Care Cancer
PubMed ID28913697