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Type: Journal article
Title: Promoting psychological well-being in women with phenylketonuria: pregnancy-related stresses, coping strategies and supports
Author: Roberts, R.
Muller, T.
Sweeney, A.
Bratkovic, D.
Gannoni, A.
Citation: Molecular Genetics and Metabolism Reports, 2014; 1(1):148-157
Publisher: Elsevier
Issue Date: 2014
ISSN: 2214-4269
Statement of
Rachel M. Roberts, Tamara Muller, Annabel Sweeney, Drago Bratkovic, Anne Gannoni
Abstract: Objective: To explore the pregnancy-related stresses anticipated and experienced by women with phenylketonuria (PKU) and the coping strategies and supports utilised or anticipated to be beneficial during pregnancy. Methods: Thematic analysis of interview data from eight women with PKU in a cross-sectional, qualitative study. Five of the participants had never had a pregnancy but were planning to in the future, two participants had children, and one participant was pregnant. Results: The central concern regarding pregnancy was achieving and maintaining the essential low Phe levels, in the context of the devastating effects of high levels. The Transactional Model of Stress and Coping was utilised to understand the coping strategies and supports utilised or anticipated to be beneficial during pregnancy. Similarities and differences between the women who had experienced pregnancy, and those who were planning a pregnancy in the future were evident in key coping strategies, with knowledge seeking, positive reappraisal, and reassurance seeking reported. Support from health professionals and other mothers with PKU was key for all women. Psychological support was identified as a resource perceived to be beneficial to promote psychological well-being during pregnancy but not yet provided. Conclusion: Pregnancy is associated with significant stresses for women with PKU. Clinical implications of the findings include provision of psychological support.
Keywords: Phenylketonuria; PKU; Pregnancy; Coping; Stresses
Rights: Crown Copyright © 2014 Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
DOI: 10.1016/j.ymgmr.2014.03.002
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Psychology publications

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