Past Projects

Title:   Attitudes to pregnancy risk and conception among women with type 1 diabetes

1st April 2004 – July 2005

Research Team
Dr Alison Hosie, University of Newcastle.
Dr Janice McLaughlin, University of Newcastle.
Dr Gillian Hawthorne, Head of Clinical Diabetes Service, Newcastle Diabetes Centre, Newcastle PCT.
Dr Margaret Blott, Consultant Obstetrician, Newcastle Diabetes Centre, Newcastle PCT.

NHS National Service Framework for Diabetes: Standards states that:

“The NHS will develop, implement and monitor policies that seek to empower and support women with pre-existing diabetes and those who develop diabetes during pregnancy to optimise the outcomes of their pregnancy.” (ibid: 5)

The question for the providers of diabetes services is how to provide care in a way that can generate better outcomes for diabetic women? Developing services that can do this requires an understanding of how women with type 1 diabetes approach their condition and its implications for other areas of their life. Therefore this research is concerned with understanding the perspective of women with type 1 diabetes. We will explore their daily lives, routines and choices when managing the issues that arise from their condition, particularly when considering issues of reproductive choices and pregnancy.

Research Aim
To study the attitudes to risk management and reproductive choice of a sample of women with type 1 diabetes using qualitative social sciences methodologies in order to capture their social contexts.


  • Explore how women with type 1 diabetes understand their condition, the risks that come with it and the implications of pregnancy and their reproductive choices.
  • Identify the social contexts that influence how diabetic women identify and manage health and pregnancy risk.
  • Contribute to the development of preconception care for diabetic women in Newcastle.
  • Facilitate the development of a large study focused on developing and testing models of intervention based on the findings here.

Research Design
The research consists of a series of qualitative interviews with type 1 diabetic women, the approach to access and the interviews will be piloted. The research has Local Ethics Committee Approval.

The sample

  • 20 women (between the ages of 18 and 40) who may or may not be considering becoming pregnant
  • 5 women who are pregnant (women will not be contacted unless in the 2nd trimester of their pregnancy at the beginning of fieldwork)
  • 5 women who have had a successful pregnancy in the last 2 years

Interview Themes
The personal history of the diagnosis and condition
Daily treatment, regime and management
Health care services and advice
Personal relationships, sex and pregnancy
Knowledge about diabetes and pregnancy
Desire for pregnancy and motherhood
Contraceptive use
Partner relationships
Health locus of control
Pregnancy planning (or prevention) behaviour
Relationships with health care providers

The findings are being disseminated via health professional local networks, magazines / journals and other academic outlets.

For further details about the project please contact:

Dr Alison Hosie
Tel: 0844 484 7667 or 07931 164111
Dr Janice McLaughlin
Tel : 0191 222 7511

Sociology and Social Policy, School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, 5th Floor Claremont Bridge, University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU.

The executive summary for this project (in PDF format) can be accessed through this link.

The main report for this project (in PDF format) can be accessed through this link.


Research History & Past Projects

Esteem Indicators

Selected Publications

Conference & Seminar Presentations

Teaching Experience


 top of page