Exploring provider attitudes and perspectives related to men's health in cystic fibrosis

Academic Article


  • Background: New modulator therapies have markedly improved the health of people with cystic fibrosis (CF), allowing an increased focus on quality-of-life improvements for men with CF, including those related to sexual and reproductive health (SRH). This study explored CF providers’ attitudes and experiences with addressing men's health in CF. Methods: We interviewed geographically diverse adult and pediatric United States (U.S.) CF program directors via semi-structured telephone interviews exploring their perspectives and practices related to men's SRH in CF. Two coders analyzed transcribed interviews and created a codebook to identify key themes. Results: We interviewed 20 providers and identified the following themes: 1) Men's SRH is important to address within CF care, but there is no standardization around this aspect of care; 2) There is no consensus about the recommendation or utilization of semen analysis to assess men's infertility; 3) There are many barriers to men's SRH care provision in CF centers, including the low priority of SRH concerns and provider discomfort and lack of expertise in SRH; 4) Providers desire clear evidence-based guidelines and patient resources related to men's SRH in CF; and 5) Providers believe future research should focus on testosterone and the impact of modulators on men's SRH. Conclusions: CF center directors acknowledge the importance of addressing SRH with men with CF, but there is a lack of standardization and research in this aspect of care. Existing barriers to optimal SRH care and identified facilitators in this study can serve as targets for interventions in the CF care model.
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  • Clarke AR; Stransky OM; Bernard M; Hughan KS; Ladores S; Sawicki GS; Stalvey M; Kazmerski TM