PDF icon Using decision trees to enhance interdisciplinary team work: the case of oncofertility


PURPOSE: Oncofertility, an emerging discipline at the intersection of cancer and fertility, strives to give cancer patients options when they are confronting potential infertility as a consequence of cancer treatment. Fertility preservation decisions must be made before treatment begins, adding stress to the decision-making process.

METHODS: Healthcare providers need to be aware of the intricacies involved in oncofertility decision making, and the often tight time line that patients face when making these decisions. Cancer patient's perspectives may also change, as the dual burden of a cancer diagnosis and potential infertility can cause great flux in emotions.

RESULTS: A provider-facing decision tree was created to enhance patient decision-making capacities and outline the multiple potential intervention points.

CONCLUSIONS: Decision trees, which highlight the important decision points during which providers can approach patients, can be a useful tool to help providers in counseling patients on fertility preservation.

Shauna L. Gardino, Jacqueline S. Jeruss, Teresa K. Woodruff. J Assit Reprod Genet, 2010.