Knowledge, attitudes and practices relating to fertility among nurses working in primary health care

Karin Hammarberg, Lisa Collison, Louise Johnson, Hau Thi Minh Nguyen, Jane Rosamond Woodward Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To explore knowledge, attitudes and practice relating to factors that affect fertility among nurses working in general practice and other primary health care settings.

Design: Anonymous online survey.

Setting: Primary care.

Subjects: Members of the Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA). Main outcome measures: Fertility related knowledge, attitudes and practice.

Results: 102 individuals completed the survey. More than half overestimated the age when male and female fertility declines and the chance of women conceiving with IVF. Most knew that smoking affects a man’s sperm but only one quarter that smoking halves a woman’s fertility. The majority recognised obesity and STI’s as detrimental for fertility and agreed that educating patients about fertility is part of primary health care nurses’ role to ask people of reproductive age about their reproductive life plan and alert them to the factors that influence fertility. The most commonly cited barrier for discussing fertility with patients was perceived lack of knowledge about the subject.

Conclusion: This study identified opportunities and barriers for nurses working in primary health care to proactively discuss fertility and the factors that influence the chance of conceiving with their patients. Appropriate educational resources to improve knowledge and support from general practitioners (GPs) can enable nurses working in general practice and other primary health care settings to provide effective fertility related education as part of their role as health promoters.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6 - 13
Number of pages8
JournalThe Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Practice nurses
  • Primary health care
  • Health promotion
  • Fertility
  • Reproductive health

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