A new publication is out entitled Patient informed choice in the age of evidence-based medicine: IVF patients’ approaches to biomedical evidence and fertility treatment add-ons. It is open access and available online in the journal Sociology of Health & Illness.
In the article, we challenge the view of IVF patients as willing to uncritically accept or request unproven, expensive treatment as a desperate act to increase their chances of having a baby. Rather, patients are required to make complex treatment choices in a highly commercialised market and an uncertain context of reproductive medicine.
The key findings presented in the article are:
- Patients are expected to make informed choices about what additional tests and treatments (add-ons) to include in IVF
- Interviews with patients show how they negotiate the notion of medical evidence in relation to their own experience of going through IVF
- Approximately half of the patients that we interviewed preferred to delegate the evaluation of evidence to their doctor (or other medical professional)
- Yet across the whole participant group, we identified four different patient approaches to evidence in IVF
- The patients interviewed described how they would:
- delegate evaluations of evidence to experts;
- critically assess available evidence;
- acknowledge the process of making evidence;
- contextualise evidence in their lived experience of infertility.