Reproductive physicians are not sufficiently clear

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Reproductive physicians are not sufficiently clear

Many couples are not sufficiently educated in Germany on all relevant aspects of reproductive medical treatment. If they are also overwhelmed by the desire to have children, they lose control of the treatment situation and do not dare to stop unsuccessful therapy. These are the results of a study conducted by the Bochum research group "Justice in Modern Medicine" (Director: Dr. Oliver Rauprich) of the Institute for Medical Ethics and History of Medicine at the Ruhr-University Bochum (Director: Prof. Dr. Jochen Vollmann) . The Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF)-sponsored research group has asked affected couples and experts. Key results, it has now been published in leading scientific journal "Human Reproduction".
Mandatory checklists are necessary

The survey of over 1,500 patients, 230 reproductive health professionals as well as 66 psychosocial counselors revealed that reproductive physicians their patients clear up much better about the chances of success and the immediate physical risks of artificial fertilization, such as the risks and burdens of possible multiple pregnancies, or about the emotional risks and burdens artificial insemination. "However, this information is essential for a good, patient-centered fertility treatment," explains Dr. Oliver Rauprich, head of the research group. He therefore advocates the introduction of mandatory checklists and similar instruments, with which the quality of patient education can be improved and controlled in reproductive medicine.
With an overwhelming desire to have children any other goals in life wither

Although the couples experiencing the treatment as very stressful, especially emotionally, it is difficult for them to end it, if the success fails. Three quarters of respondents indicated an overwhelming desire to have children, join the other goals in life into the background. Every second felt in control of the situation to lose. According to the experts is the ability of patients to self-determination to decide on the termination of treatment with little prospect of success, often limited. However, the fertility doctor would not quit on his own treatment in most cases.
Timely exit strategy helps against unrealistic expectations

Against this background, it should be a strategy to end of treatment failure in integral part of every medical care for infertility couples according to the authors. The pairs have to be made early and repeatedly to the problem of unrealistic expectations, an overwhelming desire to have children and loss of control carefully. Establishment of criteria for contraindications, time outs and completions of treatment should be agreed from the outset. Only thus could be avoided, and that highly stressful treatments with risk-prone, despite the low chance of success performed and alternative coping strategies for infertility may be delayed. All couples should have the opportunity to take on the expense of funds to an independent psycho-social counseling.