Banking on Fatherhood: pilot studies of a computerized educational tool on sperm banking before cancer treatment


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Abstract

Objectives:We conducted pilot studies of the feasibility and efficacy of an interactive, computerized educational tool,Banking on Fatherhood(BOF).Methods:Two small randomized trials were conducted, with 20 male cancer patients eligible to bank sperm in Study 1 and 19 oncology fellows or residents in Study 2. In each trial, half of the subjects viewed BOF before completing questionnaires, and half viewed it afterward. Outcome measures included a knowledge test in both trials and a Decisional Conflict scale in the patient trial. All participants, plus a panel of 10 experts, ultimately viewed BOF and completed a form evaluating its usability and value.Results:Patients who completed questionnaires after viewing BOF had significantly less decisional conflict about banking sperm than those who had not viewed it (P=0.0065), but knowledge scores were not significantly different between groups. Physicians who filled out questionnaires after viewing BOF scored significantly higher on the knowledge test (P<0.006). Patients, physicians and experts rated BOF as easy to use, informative and addressing important psychosocial concerns, with videos and animations adding to the value of the educational tool.Conclusion:Pilot studies suggest that BOF is a feasible intervention that could enhance decisions about sperm banking. Research with larger groups is needed to validate its effectiveness. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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