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An experimental evaluation of the benefits and costs of providing fertility information to adolescents and emerging adults.
Hum Reprod. 2018 07 01; 33(7):1247-1253.HR

Abstract

STUDY QUESTION

Does the provision of fertility (compared to control) information affect fertility-related knowledge, perceived threat of infertility, anxiety, physical stress and fertility plans in adolescents and emerging adults?

SUMMARY ANSWER

The provision of fertility information was associated with increased fertility knowledge (emerging adults) and greater infertility threat (adolescents and emerging adults).

WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY

According to fertility education research, adolescents and emerging adults know less than they should know about fertility topics. Fertility knowledge can be improved through the provision of information in older adults.

STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION

Experimental design. Secondary and university students completed pre-information questionnaires, were randomly assigned via computer to an experimental group, read either fertility (FertiEduc group) or healthy pregnancy information (Control group), and completed post-information questionnaires. Data were collected in group sessions via an online portal.

PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS

Eligible participants were aged 16-18 (adolescents) or 21-24 years (emerging adults), childless, not currently pregnant (for men, partner not pregnant) or trying to conceive, presumed fertile and intending to have a child in the future. Of the 255 invited, 208 (n = 93 adolescents, n = 115 emerging adults) participated. The FertiEduc group received 'A Guide to Fertility', four online pages of information about fertility topics (e.g. 'When are men and women most fertile?') and the Control group received four online pages from the National Health Service (NHS) pregnancy booklet 'Baby Bump and Beyond'. Participants completed a questionnaire (fertility knowledge, perceived threat of infertility, anxiety, physical stress and fertility plans, moderators) prior to and after the provision of information. Mixed factorial analysis of variance was used to examine the effects of information provision and hierarchical multiple regression to assess potential moderators of knowledge.

MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE

The FertiEduc and Control groups were equivalent on age, gender, disability, relationship status and orientation at baseline. Results showed that fertility information significantly increased fertility knowledge for emerging adults only (P < 0.001) and threat of infertility for emerging adults and adolescents (P = 0.05). The moderators were not significant. Participation in the study was associated with an increase in feelings of anxiety but a decrease in physical stress reactions. Adolescents had more optimal fertility plans compared to emerging adults due to being younger.

LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION

This was an experimental study on a self-selected sample of men and women from selected educational institutions and only short term effects of information were studied.

WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS

Provision of fertility information can have benefits (increased fertility knowledge) but also costs (increase potential threat of infertility). Adolescents find fertility information positive but do not learn from it. Fertility education should be tailored according to age groups and created to minimise negative effects. Longitudinal examination of the effects of fertility information in multi-centre studies is warranted and should include measures of perceived threat of infertility.

STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S)

Cardiff University funded this research. All authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Authors+Show Affiliations

School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Tower Building, Park Place, Cardiff, Wales, UK.School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Tower Building, Park Place, Cardiff, Wales, UK.School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Tower Building, Park Place, Cardiff, Wales, UK.School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Tower Building, Park Place, Cardiff, Wales, UK.School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Tower Building, Park Place, Cardiff, Wales, UK.School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Tower Building, Park Place, Cardiff, Wales, UK.School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Tower Building, Park Place, Cardiff, Wales, UK.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

29788136

Citation

Boivin, J, et al. "An Experimental Evaluation of the Benefits and Costs of Providing Fertility Information to Adolescents and Emerging Adults." Human Reproduction (Oxford, England), vol. 33, no. 7, 2018, pp. 1247-1253.
Boivin J, Koert E, Harris T, et al. An experimental evaluation of the benefits and costs of providing fertility information to adolescents and emerging adults. Hum Reprod. 2018;33(7):1247-1253.
Boivin, J., Koert, E., Harris, T., O'Shea, L., Perryman, A., Parker, K., & Harrison, C. (2018). An experimental evaluation of the benefits and costs of providing fertility information to adolescents and emerging adults. Human Reproduction (Oxford, England), 33(7), 1247-1253. https://doi.org/10.1093/humrep/dey107
Boivin J, et al. An Experimental Evaluation of the Benefits and Costs of Providing Fertility Information to Adolescents and Emerging Adults. Hum Reprod. 2018 07 1;33(7):1247-1253. PubMed PMID: 29788136.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - An experimental evaluation of the benefits and costs of providing fertility information to adolescents and emerging adults. AU - Boivin,J, AU - Koert,E, AU - Harris,T, AU - O'Shea,L, AU - Perryman,A, AU - Parker,K, AU - Harrison,C, PY - 2018/02/05/received PY - 2018/05/02/accepted PY - 2018/5/23/pubmed PY - 2019/4/2/medline PY - 2018/5/23/entrez SP - 1247 EP - 1253 JF - Human reproduction (Oxford, England) JO - Hum. Reprod. VL - 33 IS - 7 N2 - STUDY QUESTION: Does the provision of fertility (compared to control) information affect fertility-related knowledge, perceived threat of infertility, anxiety, physical stress and fertility plans in adolescents and emerging adults? SUMMARY ANSWER: The provision of fertility information was associated with increased fertility knowledge (emerging adults) and greater infertility threat (adolescents and emerging adults). WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: According to fertility education research, adolescents and emerging adults know less than they should know about fertility topics. Fertility knowledge can be improved through the provision of information in older adults. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: Experimental design. Secondary and university students completed pre-information questionnaires, were randomly assigned via computer to an experimental group, read either fertility (FertiEduc group) or healthy pregnancy information (Control group), and completed post-information questionnaires. Data were collected in group sessions via an online portal. PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: Eligible participants were aged 16-18 (adolescents) or 21-24 years (emerging adults), childless, not currently pregnant (for men, partner not pregnant) or trying to conceive, presumed fertile and intending to have a child in the future. Of the 255 invited, 208 (n = 93 adolescents, n = 115 emerging adults) participated. The FertiEduc group received 'A Guide to Fertility', four online pages of information about fertility topics (e.g. 'When are men and women most fertile?') and the Control group received four online pages from the National Health Service (NHS) pregnancy booklet 'Baby Bump and Beyond'. Participants completed a questionnaire (fertility knowledge, perceived threat of infertility, anxiety, physical stress and fertility plans, moderators) prior to and after the provision of information. Mixed factorial analysis of variance was used to examine the effects of information provision and hierarchical multiple regression to assess potential moderators of knowledge. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: The FertiEduc and Control groups were equivalent on age, gender, disability, relationship status and orientation at baseline. Results showed that fertility information significantly increased fertility knowledge for emerging adults only (P < 0.001) and threat of infertility for emerging adults and adolescents (P = 0.05). The moderators were not significant. Participation in the study was associated with an increase in feelings of anxiety but a decrease in physical stress reactions. Adolescents had more optimal fertility plans compared to emerging adults due to being younger. LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION: This was an experimental study on a self-selected sample of men and women from selected educational institutions and only short term effects of information were studied. WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: Provision of fertility information can have benefits (increased fertility knowledge) but also costs (increase potential threat of infertility). Adolescents find fertility information positive but do not learn from it. Fertility education should be tailored according to age groups and created to minimise negative effects. Longitudinal examination of the effects of fertility information in multi-centre studies is warranted and should include measures of perceived threat of infertility. STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S): Cardiff University funded this research. All authors have no conflicts of interest to declare. SN - 1460-2350 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/29788136/An_experimental_evaluation_of_the_benefits_and_costs_of_providing_fertility_information_to_adolescents_and_emerging_adults_ L2 - https://academic.oup.com/humrep/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/humrep/dey107 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -