WH&Y authors: Cristyn Davies
Citation: Lai TC, Davies C, Robinson K, Feldman D, Elder CV, Cooper C, Pang KC, McDougall R. Effective fertility counselling for transgender adolescents: a qualitative study of clinician attitudes and practices. BMJ Open 2021;11:e043237.
Objective: Fertility counselling for trans and gender diverse (TGD) adolescents has many complexities, but there is currently little guidance for clinicians working in this area. This study aimed to identify effective strategies for—and qualities of—fertility counselling for TGD adolescents based on clinicians’ experiences.
Design: We conducted qualitative semi-structured individual interviews in 2019 which explored clinician experiences and fertility counselling practices, perspectives of the young person’s experience and barriers and facilitators to fertility preservation access. Data were analysed using thematic analysis.
Setting: This qualitative study examined experiences of clinicians at the Royal Children’s Hospital—a tertiary, hospital-based, referral centre and the main provider of paediatric TGD healthcare in Victoria, Australia. Participants We interviewed 12 clinicians from a range of disciplines (paediatrics, psychology, psychiatry and gynaecology), all of whom were involved with fertility counselling for TGD adolescents.
Results: Based on clinician experiences, we identified five elements that can contribute to an effective approach for fertility counselling for TGD adolescents: a multidisciplinary team approach; shared decision-making between adolescents, their parents and clinicians; specific efforts to facilitate patient engagement; flexible personalised care; and reflective practice.
Conclusions: Identification of these different elements can inform and hopefully improve future fertility counselling practices for TGD adolescents, but further studies examining TGD adolescents’ experiences of fertility counselling are also required.
About The Authors
Cristyn Davies is a Research Fellow in the Discipline of Child and Adolescent Health, University of ...