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Publication Detail
Passion, pressure and pragmatism: how fertility clinic medical directors view IVF add-ons
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Authors:
    Iacoponi O, van de Wiel L, Wilkinson J, Harper JC
  • Publisher:
    Elsevier BV
  • Publication date:
  • Journal:
    Reproductive BioMedicine Online
  • Status:
  • Language:
  • Keywords:
    Add-ons, Adjuncts, Fertility doctor, IVF
  • Notes:
    © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of Reproductive Healthcare Ltd under a Creative Commons license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
RESEARCH QUESTION: What are the views of the medical directors of fertility clinics on IVF add-ons? DESIGN: A total of 93 UK clinics were emailed with an invitation for their medical director to participate. Ten IVF clinic medical directors were interviewed to discuss their views on the use of IVF add-ons. Some of the interviewees were medical directors of an IVF clinic with multiple branches across the UK, meaning the total number of clinics accounted for in this study was 35 out of the 93 contacted. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. RESULTS: The participants consisted of seven males and three females, with six from solely private clinics and four with NHS and private patients. Four themes were identified: clinical decision-making and the patient–doctor relationship; regulations and the add-on traffic light system; research and evidence; and commercialization and financialization of the IVF sector. CONCLUSIONS: UK IVF medical directors had a wide variety of views and experienced different pressures to offer IVF add-ons. The add-on discussion touches on core aspects of professional identity and the meaning of medical practice. The add-on debate points to broader changes in the organization of the IVF sector, which affect key aspects of practising (reproductive) medicine, including the patient–doctor relationship and responsibility for clinical decision-making, and the relationship between regulator and IVF clinic and between scientific evidence and clinical practice.
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