Exploring Childhood Cancer Survivors’ Experiences with Fertility Issues

Awardee: Kelly Newton

Graduate Program: MSc

Institution: University of British Columbia

Supervisor(s): Fuchsia Howard

ARCC Program Area(s):

Competition: 2016

Project Summary:

As treatment has developed and survival rates have risen, there is a strong need for health care professionals to become better adept in the education  and care of childhood cancer survivors as they face the challenge of an array of late-effects. The evaluation of fertility status is likely tremendously distressing and confirmation of infertility particularly devastating for adult survivors of childhood cancer who are hoping to conceive. Recent research that sought to identify current gaps in care and unmet needs of adults and young adolescent cancer survivors found that the overarching voiced concern was the need for proper communication and education regarding fertility. Responding to the clear need for further research, the objective of the proposed study is to generate a clinically relevant description of the challenges young adult survivors of childhood cancer experience when they face potential and confirmed infertility. This research will garner patient-perspective evidence that is foundational to providing patient-centred support and designing health services matched to patient needs. Research findings will be shared with health care providers in British Columbia and informational materials will be developed for providers and childhood cancer survivors. This research will contribute to a comprehensive and integrated survivorship care model that explicitly addresses infertility related needs.

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