Psychosocial determinants of health in infants & preschool children with Cystic Fibrosis diagnosed via newborn screening

Project Details

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a severe, life shortening, inherited condition, which imposes a heavy burden of daily treatment, intractable health decline and early mortality on patients and families. The psychosocial morbidity associated with CF across the lifespan is significant.  Depression and anxiety are up to four times more prevalent among patients with CF than the general population, and are associated with poorer clinical health outcomes including decreased lung function, lower body mass index, increased hospitalisations, reduced quality of life, and low adherence to treatment.

Our cross-sectional study examined the relationships between socio-emotional and mental health in preschool children with CF, and clinical outcomes in early life.

The aims of the study were 1) to document the mental health of children less than 6 years of age with CF, including markers of increased stress and/or trauma related to CF medical care and 2) investigate whether a relationship exists between mental health, medical related stress, and CF health parameters (pulmonary inflammation, infection, structural lung disease, weight, height and Body Mass Index (BMI) in early childhood.  The study also tested the validity of a five question screening tool designed by the project lead to screen for CF medical care related stress/trauma responses.


    • Princess Margaret Hospital, Perth

Research Publications

Douglas T, Jordan B, Priddis L, Anderson V, Sheehan J, Kane RT, Massie J, Branch-Smith C, Shields L. Protocol for a study of the psychosocial determinants of health in early childhood among children with cystic fibrosis. Journal of Advanced Nursing 2015; 71(7), 1704-16.

Research Group

Paediatric social work research group

Faculty Research Themes

Child Health

School Research Themes

Child Health in Medicine

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre


MDHS Research library
Explore by researcher, school, project or topic.