What is the Psychosocial Impact of Becoming a Mother on Women with CF?

In November 2011 we were introduced to Sophie Cammidge who was undertaking a research study as part of her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Leeds.

Sophie was hoping to conduct research into the impact of motherhood on women with Cystic Fibrosis. With our help, Sophie has been able to undertake this research and we are grateful to all members of the group who have helped make this possible.

We are delighted to hear that Sophie has been chosen as winner of the ‘Young Investigator of the Year Award’ from the European CF Society for her thesis. She is the first psychologist to ever have won it and will be accepting her award at the closing ceremony of the European Cystic Fibrosis Society Conference in June 2013.  Sophie will also be presenting her research at the conference which is taking place in Lisbon, Portugal.

We are so pleased to have been able to help Sophie with this vital research, the first to ever look at the social and emotional issues affecting women with CF who are mothers and look forward to hearing all about her experiences at the European CF Conference.

Here is a piece that Sophie wrote for this website during her research:


Sophie Cammidge

Hi everyone,

My name is Sophie and I’m currently training to be a clinical psychologist with the University of Leeds. For my doctoral thesis, I am currently undertaking a piece of research in association with the CF Mothers forum, entitled ‘What is the psychosocial impact of becoming a mother on women with CF?’

Motherhood and chronic illness is an area that is significantly understudied generally, and the area of CF is a classic example of this. In regards to research on mums with CF, there are currently a couple of studies out there which have looked at the physical impact of becoming a mum, such as changes in lung function and weight. However, there has been no research which has explored emotional, social and treatment issues.

A number of professionals working in the area of CF have pointed toward the need for this type of information. Furthermore, research exploring women with CF’s decision making around pregnancy and motherhood has found that women with CF have a desire for this kind of information in helping them to reach a decision.

This research therefore aims to explore these issues, by interviewing 12 mums with CF about their experiences of being a mother and how they have adjusted and managed. The results will be used to inform CF teams of the issues that mums with CF may face and how they cope with these, with the aim of enhancing CF care. The results may also provide useful information for women with CF who are considering having children.

All the ladies I have interviewed were recruited from the CF Mothers forum, and I couldn’t have done it without them, and of course Emma (Harris) who has been integral to the planning and conduction of the research!

Sophie x

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