Researchers recently published a study in the journal Human Reproduction on how information about IVF treatments is shared. Patients primarily shared information on Internet forums, but not all information was openly shared.
According to the study, online talk about fertility treatments centered on the cost of treatment, feelings and personal experiences. Forum threads used for researcher were active between Oct. 2010 and Dec. 2011. There were 15 threads analyzed in all that developed into 77 threads of conversation and more than 1,800 posts.
Most notable topics discussed on forums included:
- Medical Experience
- Fertility Testing
- Financial Cost
- Differences Between Clinics
- Wait Times
- Clinic Cooperation
- Legal Regulations
Conclusion: Shared patient experiences are an important part of overall patient care. Quality of care was directed related to respect between patient and caregiver. Data collected for the study was used for informational purposes only. Researchers did not attempt judge one fertility clinic or region of treatment over another based on information collected.
Source: Van Hoof W, Provoost V, Pennings G. Reflections of Dutch patients on IVF treatment in Belgium: a qualitative analysis of internet forums. Hum Reprod. 2013 Jan 18.