Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

ObjectiveThis systematic review examines the qualitative literature on women’s experiences of self-managing chronic conditions in pregnancy.DesignSystematic review of qualitative literature. Searches were performed in PubMed and CINAHL from inception to February 2021. Critical interpretive synthesis informed the coding framework and the analysis of the data. The Burden of Treatment theory emerged during the initial analysis as having the most synergy with the included literature, themes were refined to consider key concepts from this theory.ParticipantsPregnant women who are self-managing a chronic condition.ResultsA total of 2695 articles were screened and 25 were reviewed in detail. All 16 included studies concerned diabetes self-management in pregnancy. Common themes coalesced around motivations for, and barriers to, self-management. Women self-managed primarily for the health of their baby. Barriers identified were anxiety, lack of understanding and a lack of support from families and healthcare professionals.ConclusionsPregnant women have different motivating factors for self-management than the general population and further research on a range of self-management of chronic conditions in pregnancy is needed.PROSPERO registration numberCRD42019136681.

Original publication




Journal article


BMJ Open



Publication Date





e051962 - e051962