What is the role of nephrologists and nurses of the dialysis department in providing fertility care to CKD patients? A questionnaire study among care providers

Gaby F. Van Ek, Esmée M. Krouwel, Melianthe P. J. Nicolai, B.L. den Oudsten, Marjolein E. M. Den Ouden, Sandra W. M. Dieben, Hein Putter, Rob C. M. Pelger, Henk W. Elzevier

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Abstract

Purpose
This study evaluated current fertility care for CKD patients by assessing the perspectives of nephrologists and nurses in the dialysis department.
Methods
Two different surveys were distributed for this cross-sectional study among Dutch nephrologists (N = 312) and dialysis nurses (N = 1211).
Results
Response rates were 50.9% (nephrologists) and 45.4% (nurses). Guidelines on fertility care were present in the departments of 9.0% of the nephrologists and 15.6% of the nurses. 61.7% of the nephrologists and 23.6% of the nurses informed ≥50% of their patients on potential changes in fertility due to a decline in renal function. Fertility subjects discussed by nephrologists included “wish to have children” (91.2%), “risk of pregnancy for patients’ health” (85.8%), and “inheritance of the disease” (81.4%). Barriers withholding nurses from discussing FD were based on “the age of the patient” (62.6%), “insufficient training” (55.2%), and “language and ethnicity” (51.6%). 29.2% of the nurses felt competent in discussing fertility, 8.3% had sufficient knowledge about fertility, and 75.7% needed to expand their knowledge. More knowledge and competence were associated with providing fertility health care (p < 0.01).
Conclusions
In most nephrology departments, the guidelines to appoint which care provider should provide fertility care to CKD patients are absent. Fertility counseling is routinely provided by most nephrologists, nurses often skip this part of care mainly due to insufficiencies in self-imposed competence and knowledge and barriers based on cultural diversity. The outcomes identified a need for fertility guidelines in the nephrology department and training and education for nurses on providing fertility care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1273–1285
JournalInternational Urology and Nephrology
Volume49
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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