Cultural and Ethnic Identity in Reproductive Care

The influence of culture/ethnic identity on reproductive concerns in adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer patients

Protocol development- Full protocol developed
Ethics status – Ethics will be submitted in May 2016
Study Team – Dr Shanna Logan, Dr Anazodo Anazodo, Ms Imran Khan

Culture is a factor shown to significantly impact on health care and clinician-patient interactions. Culture influences interpretations of health, illness aetiology, the interpretation and expectations surrounding health care interactions and appropriate health treatment. With regard to fertility, cultural views on reproduction, perceptions of family and social structure and religious background may all impact on fertility-related care and options for treatment.

Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) cancer patients are less likely to have had the opportunity to start a family prior to cancer treatment, despite being of reproductive age. As cancer treatment can impact fertility potential this cohort is likely to report concerns related to their reproductive health outcomes and have an increased likelihood of later reporting fertility related psychological distress. To date the relationship between culture and fertility within an AYA cancer cohort has not been investigated. It is therefore worthwhile to explore how factors such as culture may influence reproductive health concerns and related distress in an AYA cancer population.


Cultural and religious factors experienced by AYA cancer patients will have an impact on how they view and approach fertility related options and care.


To determine how reproductive health concerns may be influenced or related to cultural views on health, illness and reproduction within an adolescent young adult cancer patient population.


Participants will be eligible if they have been diagnosed with cancer between the age of 15-25 years and recruited from the Sydney Children’s Hospital and Prince of Wales Hospital. The study will use a survey design to investigate how perceptions of cultural and ethnic identity are related to reproductive health concerns and related psychological distress. A mixed methods approach of open-ended questions and structured scales will be used to capture information on cultural background, ethnic identity, cultural values and ethnocentrism, current psychological health, religion and fertility, reproductive concerns after cancer and attitudes towards psychological health help seeking.