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Effect of a Knowledge-Translation Intervention on Breast Surgeons' Oncofertility Attitudes and Practices.

BACKGROUND: The breast surgeon, generally the first oncology specialist consulted, is ideally suited to offer fertility preservation (FP) referral to young women with breast cancer (YWBC). In the authors' 2015 survey of 84 surgeons participating in the pan-Canadian RUBY study of YWBC, oncofertility knowledge and rates of FP referral were suboptimal. The authors designed an oncofertility knowledge-translation intervention for surgeons.
METHODS: A customized oncofertility toolbox was created including a seminar/webinar, an option grid, a three-question FP survey sent upon registration of each RUBY patient, and a management checklist. In 2018, the 28 site lead surgeons were re-invited to participate in a follow-up telephone interview, and 85 non-site lead surgeons were invited to complete a follow-up online questionnaire.
RESULTS: A total of 27 site lead surgeons consented to be re-interviewed. After the intervention, 85% indicated that they "routinely" initiated a fertility discussion compared with 54% at baseline (p < 0.005), with 56% stating that the toolbox had been helpful for making positive changes in their practice regarding oncofertility, and 44% stating that they found it easier to initiate a fertility discussion. Among the 55 non-site lead surgeons who completed the questionnaire, a significant improvement in oncofertility knowledge was found. The percentage reporting "rarely" or "never" discussing FP options decreased from 41 to 14% (p < 0.005), and 84% stated that they referred patients who had not completed their families and were at risk for infertility to FP consultation compared with 32% before the intervention (p < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: A multi-pronged but simple knowledge-translation intervention improved the attitudes, knowledge, and FP practice of Canadian breast surgeons.
Warner E, Yee S, Seminsky M, Glass K, Foong S, Kennedy E, Narod S, Quan ML. Effect of a Knowledge-Translation Intervention on Breast Surgeons' Oncofertility Attitudes and Practices. Ann Surg Oncol. 2020 May;27(5):1645-1652. doi: 10.1245/s10434-019-07972-x. Epub 2019 Oct 28.

Read the study results on PubMed