Infertility and reproductive health issues are an expected consequence of most cancer treatments that include chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. Although fertility may be regained after some cancer treatments, sustained infertility develops in 50-95% of cancer survivors [2-7]. There are an estimated 5,318 new cancers diagnosed each year among men and women between the age of 15 and 45 . Given the improvements in cancer treatment and survival that have occurred over the past several decades, the unique reproductive health needs of this group must be considered - beginning at initial diagnosis, ensuring optimal quality of life post diagnosis. There are a variety of options available prior to initiation of cancer treatment for men and women of childbearing age (CBA) to assist in preserving or maintaining fertility such as sperm banking and testicular and ovarian tissue freezing [6, 7, 9]. Despite evidence that patients want information about future fertility , the existing research finds large gaps between recommended and actual clinical practice related to discussion of FP options with cancer patients [6, 9-11]. Recent data suggest physicians are highly supportive of a trained member of their health care team such as the nurse, providing this information to patients [13, 14]. Oncology nurses play a key role in the care of cancer patients and compared to other health care providers, are more likely to have multiple interactions with patients prior to the initiation of cancer treatment . Therefore, oncology nurses are in an ideal position to discuss quality-of-life issues such as fertility and reproductive health with patients . However, there are limited formal educational programs for nurses in this content area. The overall purpose of this project is to improve the quality of life for cancer survivors. The goal will be achieved through a distance learning based educational program for nurses in the oncology care setting - The Fertility Reproduction and Cancer Training Institute for Oncology Nursing (FRACTION) will include: a) a web based 10 module training curricula [PACT];b) an on-going web based, interactive applied learning component including internet interactions and discussions among participants;c) opportunity for assessment of institutional readiness and train the trainer consultation.
We aim to train a total of 250 nurses working with cancer patients during the five years of the grant. Additional dissemination methods will document the reach of this training with a focus on creating behavioral and institutional change. An extensive and on-going evaluation of the training program will continuously update the curricula and activities and provide the basis for the distribution of this educational program to nurses and other health care professionals beyond the project period.
The Fertility Reproduction and Cancer Training Institute for Oncology Nursing (FRACTION) will include a) a web based 10 module training curricula;b) an on-going web based, interactive applied learning component including internet interactions and discussions among participants;c) opportunity for assessment of institutional readiness and train the trainer consultation. We aim to train a total of 250 nurses working with cancer patients.
|Vadaparampil, Susan T; Hutchins, Nicole M; Quinn, Gwendolyn P (2013) Reproductive health in the adolescent and young adult cancer patient: an innovative training program for oncology nurses. J Cancer Educ 28:197-208|