Project Details

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Frances Griffiths

Karin Eli (University of Warwick)

Project area or title

Exploring the mental health experiences and needs of women with congenital heart disease during pregnancy and postpartum: a longitudinal interview study


Compared to the general population, adults with congenital heart disease (CHD) are at higher risk for depression and anxiety (Kovacs et al., 2009; Westhoff-Bleck et al., 2016), but the mental health burden faced by pregnant women with CHD remains unknown. In the UK, an estimated 125,000 women have CHD, most of whom are of reproductive age (Uebing et al., 2006). In any given year, 0.8% of pregnant women have CHD (Bishop et al., 2018), meaning that in 2021, about 6,600 pregnant women in England and Wales had CHD (ONS, 2023). The 2022 James Lind Alliance Priority (JLA) Setting Partnership identified mental health (#3) and maternal health (#5) as top priorities for future research in adult congenital heart disease (ACHD). However, other than two retrospective studies focused on psychosocial wellbeing, conducted in Germany and Italy, no research has investigated the overlap between these two key priority areas, leaving a demonstrable evidence gap. In this qualitative project, we will use a phenomenological approach to conduct longitudinal interviews with women with CHD in the second trimester, third trimester, and six weeks postpartum. This will allow us to explore how women’s mental health experiences and needs change during pregnancy and the immediate postpartum period, and understand how these changes may intersect with physiological stresses and/or medical interventions experienced at these time points. 


Physical Health and Mental Health Multimorbidity


University of Warwick

Specific Project Eligibility