Attitudes towards embryo donation among healthcare professionals working in child healthcare: A survey study

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Abstract

Background: The aim of this study was to investigate attitudes towards embryo donation and embryo donation families among professionals working in primary child healthcare, and their experiences of these families. Methods: A cross-sectional online survey was conducted in Sweden between April and November 2016. A total of 712 primary healthcare physicians, registered nurses and psychologists were approached to participate in this study. The study-specific questionnaire measured attitudes and experiences in the following four domains: legalisation and financing, the family and the child's health, clinical experience of meeting families following embryo donation, and knowledge of embryo donation. Results: Of the 189 women and 18 men who completed the questionnaire (response rate 29%), relatively few (13%) had clinical experience of caring for families following embryo donation. Overall, 69% supported legalisation of embryo donation for infertile couples, and 54% agreed it should be publicly funded. The majority (88%) agreed the child should have the right to know the donors' identity. Respondents did not believe that children conceived through embryo donation are as healthy as other children (50%), citing the risks of poor mental health (17%) and social stigmatization (18%). Approximately half reported low confidence in their own knowledge of embryo donation (47%) and wanted to know more (58%). Conclusions: These results indicate relatively large support among healthcare professionals in Sweden for the legalisation of embryo donation. In order to provide adequate healthcare to families following embryo donation, there is a need to develop educational resources to increase knowledge about the medical and psychosocial consequences of embryo donation among healthcare professionals working in primary healthcare.

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Armuand, G., Sydsjö, G., Skoog Svanberg, A., & Lampic, C. (2019, June 25). Attitudes towards embryo donation among healthcare professionals working in child healthcare: A survey study. BMC Pediatrics. BioMed Central Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12887-019-1578-4

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