The European Fertility Society (EFS) was one of the contributors to a compelling study titled “Research-informed educational materials to promote the routine implementation of psychosocial care for unsuccessful fertility treatment (PCUFT) at clinics: healthcare professionals’ and patients’ views,” conducted by Cardiff University during ESHRE 2023 Annual Meeting. The study, presented by MSc Mariana Sousa Leite and Dr Sofia Gameiro, addresses the crucial issue of supporting patients who have reached the end of unsuccessful fertility treatments and highlights the need to address the emotional well-being of patients in this situation.
The study found that 9 out of 10 patients expressed a desire to discuss the possibility of fertility treatment being unsuccessful during their care at clinics. Surprisingly, only 35% of patients reported having the opportunity to have these discussions. The researchers suggest that providing PCUFT (Psychosocial Care for Unsuccessful Fertility Treatment) – which involves offering assistance and guidance on the potential consequences of treatment not being successful – could help patients cope better with the emotional impact of this loss. However, it is not known how prevalent PCUFT is across different countries and what barriers both healthcare professionals (HCPs) and patients perceive in implementing it.
To address this gap, an international qualitative study was conducted to explore HCPs’ and patients’ willingness and preferences regarding the use of research-based educational materials to support the integration of PCUFT in fertility clinics.
The goal is to develop educational materials based on research findings to encourage clinics to offer regular psychosocial care as a regular part of their services. This recognizes the significance of addressing the emotional and psychological well-being of patients, ensuring they receive appropriate support during this challenging phase.
The partnership between EFS and Cardiff University demonstrates our mutual commitment to improving fertility care and supporting patients throughout their journey.