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Moffitt researchers find adolescents with cancer concerned about their future reproductive health
Date:4/27/2012

ct how their child would answer specific questions concerning fertility and their reproductive concerns for the future.

Audio-taped interviews with patients and parents were carried out separately to ensure that parents did not prompt adolescent answers or prevent their children from expressing their feelings. Fourteen adolescent-parent pairs were interviewed. One of the research objectives was to determine whether health-related quality of instruments intended to capture reproductive concerns was sensitive and appropriate for adolescent patients with cancer.

The interview questions ranged from determining understandings about fertility, to asking if one day the participant would like to have a baby, to "do you feel like you can talk with your parents about fertility" and how would the patient feel if she could not have a baby in the future.

"Sixty-four percent of the parents provided answers that were incongruent with how they predicted their child would answer the questions," explained Quinn. "For example, half of the parents who said their daughter did not want to know about risks to fertility posed by cancer and treatment were also incongruent on five or more statements."

The researchers also found that 75 percent of parents who said that their daughters did not worry about having a baby in the future were also incongruent on more than five other questions.

"Overall, parents underestimated their daughters' reproductive concerns," Quinn said. "The majority of adolescents reported a strong desire for future parenthood, whereas parents expected their daughters to be satisfied with survivorship."

The researchers also concluded that health-related quality-of-life surveys used to establish the reproductive concerns of adolescents by parental proxy reporting are "not suitable for capturing specific emotions and feelings that are impacted by ... a life-threatening illness and long-term goals."

They further
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Contact: Patty Kim
patty.kim@moffitt.org
813-745-7322
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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