Quality of integrated female oncofertility care is suboptimal: A patient-reported measurement

Michelle van den Berg, Suzanne E. J. Kaal, Teska N. Schuurman, Didi D. M. Braat, Caroline M. P. W. Mandigers, Jolien Tol, Jacqueline M. Tromp, Maurice J. D. L. van der Vorst, Catharina C. M. Beerendonk, Rosella P. M. G. Hermens

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Background: Clinical practice guidelines recommend to inform female cancer patients about their infertility risks due to cancer treatment. Unfortunately, it seems that guideline adherence is suboptimal. In order to improve quality of integrated female oncofertility care, a systematic assessment of current practice is necessary. Methods: A multicenter cross-sectional survey study in which a set of systematically developed quality indicators was processed, was conducted among female cancer patients (diagnosed in 2016/2017). These indicators represented all domains in oncofertility care; risk communication, referral, counseling, and decision-making. Indicator scores were calculated, and determinants were assessed by multilevel multivariate analyses. Results: One hundred twenty-one out of 344 female cancer patients participated. Eight out of 11 indicators scored below 90% adherence. Of all patients, 72.7% was informed about their infertility, 51.2% was offered a referral, with 18.8% all aspects were discussed in counseling, and 35.5% received written and/or digital information. Patient's age, strength of wish to conceive, time before cancer treatment, and type of healthcare provider significantly influenced the scores of three indicators. Conclusions: Current quality of female oncofertility care is far from optimal. Therefore, improvement is needed. To achieve this, improvement strategies that are tailored to the identified determinants and to guideline-specific barriers should be developed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCancer Medicine
Early online date2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022


  • cancer
  • female cancer patients
  • oncofertility care
  • quality indicators
  • quality of care

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