Perceptions and motivations of an Australian cohort of women with or without congenital heart disease proceeding to pregnancy

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Abstract

To assess the perceptions of women with congenital heart disease (CHD) regarding the severity of their cardiac abnormality and its implications in pregnancy, and whether their motivations to conceive were similar to those of women without CHD. Methods A retrospective descriptive study of a cohort of women with (n = 20) or without (n = 20) CHD, aged over 18 years, who had had one or more successful pregnancies. The women were surveyed using a semi-structured questionnaire and their medical records were reviewed. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis. Results Women with CHD were concerned about the health risks associated with their CHD; however, they were not deterred from conceiving because 10 out of 20 women had a tendency to downplay the seriousness of their CHD. The women s motivations to conceive were similar in both groups. Conclusion Although women with CHD were clinically identified as an at-risk group, with possible health complications for themselves and their infant, it was ultimately the women s inaccurate perception of the severity of their CHD and of the associated potential health risks that influenced their decision to pursue motherhood. This emphasizes the need for clinicians to have detailed knowledge of the cardiac abnormality and its implications in pregnancy
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252 - 255
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Volume126
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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