Decision-making about pregnancy for women with cystic fibrosis

Br J Health Psychol. 2009 May;14(Pt 2):323-42. doi: 10.1348/135910708X332927. Epub 2008 Aug 20.


Objectives: This study aims to generate experiential data about the decision-making process encountered by 12 women with cystic fibrosis (CF) considering pregnancy.

Design: This study uses a qualitative grounded theory methodology to analyse the data and develop a conceptual hierarchical model of salient issues.

Methods: Twelve women completed a semi-structured interview accompanied by quantitative self-report measures of quality of life and psychological well-being, and indicators of health and treatment status were used.

Results: Descriptive data demonstrated that the sample did not differ significantly from other published samples. Four core categories emerged: (1) impact of the decision; (2) preparation for making and living with the decision; (3) owning the decision; and (4) personal dilemmas. Each comprised a number of overlapping conceptual and subcategories. Influencing factors included the impact of pregnancy on participants' health, and upon their ability to care for the child, the pregnancy experiences of other women with CF, the moral implications of having a child and the support and beliefs of family members.

Discussion: The findings extend the current knowledge in this area. We recommend development of guidelines for supporting and advising chronically ill young women about the psychosocial and emotional issues.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cystic Fibrosis*
  • Decision Making*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Pregnancy
  • Young Adult