Application of Caring Life-Course Theory to explore care needs in women with pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain

Dragana Ceprnja, Michael Lawless, Pranee Liamputtong, Amitabh Gupta, Lucy Chipchase

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: To describe the care needs of women with pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain based on the Caring Life-Course Theory. Design: A descriptive qualitative research design. Methods: Data were collected between November 2019 and February 2021 from 20 purposively selected pregnant women with pelvic girdle pain aged between 22 and 39 years in antenatal care at a tertiary hospital in Australia. Individual semi-structured interviews were recorded via a digital audio recorder and transcribed verbatim. Qualitative content analysis method was used to analyse the data. Findings: Five broad themes were identified: pain is an added burden to pregnancy; knowledge is power to own what happens to me; engaging in self-help; care from others is useful; and pain deserves more attention from healthcare professionals. Conclusion: Caring Life-Course Theory presented a useful and applicable scaffold for describing care needs of pregnant women with pelvic girdle pain. The study revealed experiencing pelvic girdle pain led to additional care needs during pregnancy, highlighting the importance of self-management strategies and an appreciation of care from others to assist women in limiting the effects of the pain. Participants identified the need for more information and attention from healthcare professionals to be able to better manage their condition. Impact: This study presents a comprehensive picture of the change in care needs triggered by experiencing pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy. The findings have the potential to facilitate better care provision by considering novel methods of delivery, such as information and communication technology, whilst acknowledging the value placed on credible and trusted sources. Knowledge acquired through this study may be used by nurses and midwives, along with other healthcare professionals, to enhance the provision of comprehensive care that is acceptable to women with pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2586-2595
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number8
Early online date17 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • care
  • inter-disciplinary
  • midwifery
  • nursing
  • pregnancy
  • pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain
  • qualitative
  • self-care


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