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Barriers and factors associated with significant delays to initial consultation and treatment for infertile patients and partners to infertile patients.

Domar, Alice, Vassena, Rita, Dixon, Marjorie, Costa, Mauro, Vegni, Elena, Collura, Barbara, Markert, Marie, Samuelsen, Carl, Guiglotto, Jillian, Roitmann, Eva and Boivin, Jacky ORCID: 2021. Barriers and factors associated with significant delays to initial consultation and treatment for infertile patients and partners to infertile patients. Reproductive BioMedicine Online 43 (6) , pp. 1126-1136. 10.1016/j.rbmo.2021.09.002

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Research Question What are the key drivers and barriers for infertile patients and their partners to see an infertility specialist Design An online, international, 30-minute quantitative survey collected data from 1,944 respondents from nine countries. Respondents were infertile patients (n=1,037) or partners to infertile patients (n=907; but not necessarily partners of the patient sample), at different stages of the treatment journey. Results The overall average times were 3.2 years to receiving a medical infertility diagnosis, 2.0 years attempting to achieve pregnancy without assistance before treatment, and 1.6 years of treatment before successful respondents achieved pregnancy. The most common driver for considering treatment after a consultation (n=1,025) was an equal desire within the couple to have a child (40.8%). Of partners (n=356), 27.3% reported that transparency of information from healthcare professionals about treatment expectations was important. A significantly higher proportion of respondents seeking treatment reported that healthcare professionals offered supportive services (61.0%) and mental health services (62.0%) than the 207 respondents who did not seek treatment (32.0% and 37.0%, respectively; p<0.001). Perceived cost was the most commonly reported barrier for respondents not seeking a consultation (37.5% of n=352) or treatment (42.0% of n=207). Of the 95 respondents who discontinued treatment, 34.7% discontinued due to financial impact. Conclusion Respondents reported significant delays to seeking treatment, likely negatively impacting chances of achieving pregnancy. Motivational coherence within couples was a key driver and cost of treatment was the main barrier. Reported offerings of supportive services by healthcare professionals were highly positively correlated to treatment journey continuation.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the CC-BY Attribution 4.0 International license.
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 1472-6483
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 20 September 2021
Date of Acceptance: 2 September 2021
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2022 09:45

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