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Title: The role of health-related cognitions in willingness to optimise health in the fertility context
Author: Fulford, Bethan
ISNI:       0000 0004 5346 997X
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2014
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Parenthood is a goal desired by the majority of men and women. People are far more likely to achieve their parenthood goals if they take steps to optimise fertility and pregnancy. Measures to optimise fertility and pregnancy reduce the risk of fertility problems, increase the chance of conceiving and, if a pregnancy is achieved, reduce the risk of pregnancy complications. Such measures include adopting a healthier lifestyle, seeking timely medical help when problems conceiving are encountered, and following medical health recommendations for people who are trying to conceive and/ or are pregnant (e.g., taking folic acid supplements). However, despite the importance placed on becoming parents, many people fail to take steps to safeguard fertility and pregnancy. The set of studies presented in this thesis aimed to examine the role of health-related cognitions in how willing people are to take action to optimise fertility and pregnancy and to identify targets for public health campaigns to promote informed decision-making about fertility and pregnancy. The work presented in this thesis demonstrated that health-related cognitions play a key role in how likely people are to optimise fertility and pregnancy. Knowledge about fertility was poor (51.9% average correct score on fertility knowledge questions), which was associated with being less likely to take action to optimise fertility. However, a common result across studies was that even when people knew about factors that put fertility or pregnancy at risk, they often did not apply these factors to themselves because they had mental models that made them feel insusceptible to risk. Findings suggested that a personalised fertility risk awareness tool was acceptable and feasible among women and health professionals and may help women to understand the personal relevance of risks to fertility. Overall, the findings of the current set of studies imply that timely education about fertility and pregnancy is needed to enable people to make informed decisions about optimising fertility and pregnancy. Further, personalised risk awareness interventions are required to help people understand their own susceptibility to risk and decide whether and what action to take to reduce their risk.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology