Weaknesses, strengths and needs in fertility care according to patients.
until further notice
SourceHuman Reproduction, 25, 1, (2010), pp. 142-149
1 januari 2010
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectNCEBP 12: Human Reproduction; NCEBP 8: Psychological determinants of chronic illness; NCEBP 12: Human Reproduction; NCEBP 8: Psychological determinants of chronic illness
BACKGROUND: The patients' role in assessing health care quality is increasingly recognized. Measuring patients' specific experiences and needs generates concrete information for care improvement, whereas satisfaction surveys only give an overoptimistic, undifferentiating picture. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate possible weaknesses, strengths and needs in fertility care by measuring patients' specific experiences. METHODS: Mixed (qualitative and quantitative) methods were used to identify weaknesses, strengths and needs in fertility care. Four focus groups with 21 infertile patients were used for documenting care aspects relevant to patients. The fully transcribed qualitative results were analysed and converted into a 124-item questionnaire, to investigate whether these aspects were regarded as weaknesses, strengths or needs in fertility care. The questionnaire was distributed to 369 eligible couples attending 13 Dutch fertility clinics. Descriptive statistics were used to determine the quantity of the weaknesses, strengths and needs. RESULTS: Overall, 286 women (78%) and 280 men (76%) completed the questionnaire. Patients experienced many weaknesses in fertility care, mostly regarding emotional support and continuity of care. Respect and autonomy and partner involvement were considered strengths in current care. Furthermore, women expressed their need for more doctors' continuity during their treatment, and couples strongly desired to have free access to their own medical record. The questionnaire's internal consistency and construct validity were sufficient. CONCLUSIONS: Infertile couples experience strengths, but also many weaknesses and needs in current fertility care. Lack of patient centredness seems to be a major cause herein. Using mixed methods is a sensitive means for identifying these weaknesses and needs.
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