Sexuality and Disability

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 15–23 | Cite as

Assessment of Sexual Reproductive Health Knowledge Amongst Patients with Cystic Fibrosis

  • C. WilsonEmail author
  • Jamie Duckers
  • Lorraine Speight
  • Dawn Lau
  • Robert Ian Ketchell
  • Andrea Edwards
Original Paper


This study is concerned with evaluating cystic fibrosis (CF) annual review practice. More precisely, we wanted to know if we are utilizing genetic counseling services and identifying poor knowledge of sexual reproductive health at annual review. We conducted short interviews with 21 CF patients at annual review regarding genetic counseling knowledge and perception. Patient responses were documented, analyzed and coded using a simple thematic analysis to précis the content. Immediately post-interview, patients were asked to complete a CF questionnaire comprised of nine questions, testing knowledge of the science of Mendelian genetics, contraceptive needs and fertility. Knowledge was then compared to responses documented at annual review. Emerging themes from interviews included: poor knowledge and a need for more information regarding what genetic counseling involves, a positive perception and experience of genetic counseling for those who had attended, and partner anxiety related to carrier testing. The percentage of patients who reported they were aware of the CF fertility and genetic issues was 95%, however, questionnaire scores ranged from 0 to 9/9 (mean 4.8 SD [2.2]). 57% of patients had received genetic counseling. These patients had a statistically significantly higher score 6.2 (1.5) versus those who had not 2.9 (1.3) p < 0.001. The All Wales Adult CF Centre annual review practice is insufficient to identify patients who may benefit from further education on reproductive health. Traditionally these domains have been granted less significance. However, as life expectancy, quality of life and reproductive assistive techniques improve, ensuring appropriate patient knowledge is of greater importance.


Cystic fibrosis Genetic counseling Reproduction Sexual health Fertility Genetics United Kingdom 



Thank you to all the members of staff at the All Wales Adult Cystic Fibrosis Unit.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.All Wales Cystic Fibrosis CentreUniversity Hospital LlandoughPenarthUK
  2. 2.University Hospital of WalesCardiffUK

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