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Tackling burden in ART: an integrated approach for medical staff.

Authors
  • Boivin, Jacky
  • Domar, Alice D
  • Shapiro, Daniel B
  • Wischmann, Tewes H
  • Fauser, Bart C J M
  • Verhaak, Christianne
Type
Published Article
Journal
Human Reproduction
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2012
Volume
27
Issue
4
Pages
941–950
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1093/humrep/der467
PMID: 22258661
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Discontinuation is a problem in fertility clinics. Many couples discontinue assisted reproductive technologies (ART) without achieving a live birth for reasons other than poor prognosis or the cost of treatment. Discontinuation has been attributed to the burden of treatment. The causes of burden can be broadly classified according to whether they originate in the patient, clinic or treatment. Interventions to alleviate these burdens include provision of comprehensive educational material, screening to identify highly distressed patients, provision of tailored coping tools and improvements in the clinic environment and medical interventions. Practical interventions to reduce the different causes of burden in ART exist, but further development and evaluation of the efficacy of these interventions requires more precise definition of terms and theory. In this paper, we propose a general integrated approach to cover different perspectives in dealing with burden in ART clinics. We firstly describe the integrated approach and present common sources of burden. We then describe interventions that could help reduce the burden in ART. Our paper is aimed at fertility clinic staff because of their day-to-day involvement with patients. However, this discussion should also be relevant to companies that develop treatments and to psychosocial experts. Reducing the burden of treatment should lead to improved outcomes, namely better quality of life during treatment and lower discontinuation rates.

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