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Open Access Research

A questionnaire-based survey to assess patient satisfaction, ease-of-learning, ease-of-use, injection site pain and overall patient satisfaction of the follitropin-alpha (Gonal-f) filled-by-mass (FbM) prefilled pen compared with other systems of gonadotrophin administration

Takafumi Utsunomiya1, Atsushi Tanaka1, Kenichi Tatsumi1 and Diego Ezcurra2*

Author Affiliations

1 Japanese Institution for Standardizing Assisted Reproductive Technology, Osaka, Japan

2 Fertility and Endocrinology Business Unit, Merck Serono SA, Geneva, Switzerland

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Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 2012, 10:93  doi:10.1186/1477-7827-10-93

Published: 20 November 2012

Abstract

Background

Gonadotrophins are used routinely for follicular stimulation during ovarian induction and assisted reproduction techniques. Developments in recombinant follicle-stimulating hormone preparations and their injection devices have improved patient quality of life by enabling patients to self-administer treatment at home. The objective of this study was to investigate patient experiences of learning to use and overall satisfaction with the follitropin-alpha (Gonal-f) filled-by-mass (FbM) prefilled pen.

Methods

This questionnaire-based survey study was conducted in 23 fertility centres in Japan over a period of 14 months. Patients who were receiving fertility treatment with the follitropin-alpha (FbM) prefilled pen were asked to complete a questionnaire to assess their satisfaction, ease of learning and use, and injection site pain following treatment.

Results

A total of 663 women participated in the study. The majority of patients found the instructions for administering follitropin-alpha with the prefilled pen easy to understand (83.0%; n = 546/658) and patients found that a hands-on demonstration by a nurse or doctor was the most useful tool for learning to use the follitropin-alpha (FbM) prefilled pen (80.0%; n = 497/621). Forty-eight percent (n = 318) of patients in the study had previous experience with different types of fertility medications and the majority of these patients found the follitropin-alpha (FbM) prefilled pen easier to use (75.1%; n = 232/309) and less painful (89.0%; n = 347/390) than their previous medication. The majority (80.2%; n = 521/650) of patients reported overall satisfaction with the follitropin-alpha (FbM) prefilled pen.

Conclusions

The follitropin-alpha (FbM) prefilled pen is an easy-to-use injection device according to this questionnaire-based survey. Patients who had experience of different types of fertility medication preferred the follitropin-alpha (FbM) prefilled pen to other injection devices.

Keywords:
Self-administration; Injections; Fertility agents; Follicle-stimulating hormone; Ovulation induction; Assisted reproductive techniques; Patient satisfaction