Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Robin Everhart

Second Advisor

Joshua Langberg


As more patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) are living into adulthood, patients may need to disclose their CF status to others, such as in romantic or professional settings. Patients who choose not to disclose their CF status may be limited in their closeness with others, which may negatively affect their psychological functioning and health-related quality of life. Few studies, however, have examined disclosure in CF, and currently no validated measures of CF disclosure exist. The purpose of this study was to explore CF disclosure in adults and validate a new assessment of CF disclosure, the Cystic Fibrosis Disclosure Scale (CFDS).

Results were consistent with prior research in disclosure in CF, with participants disclosing most often to close others and less often at school or in the workplace. Disclosure to close and casual friends was consistently associated with better psychosocial functioning. Factor analyses determined the CFDS was valid and that all questions should be retained. The Count Group subscale emerged as the “best” subscale grouping and coding method. This study contributed to the literature by serving as the first validation study of a questionnaire of disclosure in CF. Additionally, as disclosure in CF is a new emerging area, this study added information to the sparse literature on this issue. The CFDS as it exists now gathers important research and clinical information from adults with CF, and should be examined further with a larger sample size and more descriptive information.


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Date of Submission