New publication of PRESERVIAMO project

Objective: To study the Italian scenario of the cares for fertility preservation addressed to women with cancer, this research evaluated the experience of women offered oocyte cryopreservation before starting cancer treatment, with the aim to individuate value and critical elements of the care pathway and strengthen the multidisciplinary network among health care practitioners.

Design: The research was composed of a first phase of collection of narratives and a second phase for content analysis.

Setting: The research was carried out in Italy between June and October 2016 and disseminated online.

Patients: The collection of narratives was addressed to adult and reproductive-age women who pursued oocyte cryopreservation prior to cancer treatment, and health providers working in or collaborating with a fertility preservation service.

Interventions: Semi-structured plots were used to collect narratives from patients and healthcare practitioners about their experiences of the care pathway. The narratives were analysed using content analysis methods and compared between the two groups of respondents.

Main Outcome Measures: 58 narratives were collected, respectively 33 from women and 25 from healthcare practitioners.

Results: Most patients revealed to have been well informed and supported by the multidisciplinary team of care (78%), and after the fertility preservation to have  faced the cancer treatment with a more positive attitude (89%). Healthcare practitioners confirmed the positive effects of oocyte cryopreservation on patients (65%), although the multidisciplinary network was rated as inadequate (65%).

Conclusions: The best practices and the critical elements reported in the experiences of care suggest the need to structure a national multidisciplinary care pathway involving oncological teams of care. Using narratives to explore how patients and health providers proceed through fertility preservation and cancer treatment may help to integrate this multidisciplinary network.

This is a brief abstract of the paper published to the peer-reviewed journal Fertility and Sterility, with the title “Fertility preservation and cancer treatment: Use of narratives to integrate multidisciplinary approaches in a single network“ concerning the main results of the project named PRESERVIAMO permformed by ISTUD Foundation.

The paper is the result of the important contribution of Paola Chesi, researchers of the Healthcare Area of ISTUD Foundation and Project Manager of PRESERVIAMO, with the particular support and contribution of Alessandra Razzano, Paola Chesi, Marta Sestero, Francesca Salvagno, Alberto Revelli, Chiara Benedetto, as authors.

Silvia Napolitano

Researcher at Healthcare Area of ISTUD Foundation. Master degree in Industrial Biotechnology at University of Milano-Bicocca, Post-graduate ‘Scienziati in Azienda’ at ISTUD Foundation. Expert in Medical Writing, especially in areas as the qualitative research and Narrative Medicine. She contributes to research and educational projects with the aim of improving the quality of life and quality of care of patients with chronicle or genetic diseases.

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