Identifying psychosocial risk among mothers in an Australian private maternity setting: A pilot study
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
School of Nursing and Midwifery / Nursing, Midwifery and Health Services Research
St John of God Murdoch
Background: Psychosocial assessment and depression screening are recommended for all pregnant and postnatal women in Australia. However, women who give birth in private maternity settings remain less likely to participate in psychosocial assessment programs, making it difficult to comment on the potential resource implications. Aims: To describe the psychosocial profile of a sample of women who had recently given birth in a private hospital and to examine the acceptability and feasibility of introducing psychosocial assessment as a routine component of maternity care. Materials and Methods: Two hundred and twenty participants were recruited in a four‐month period from a private tertiary hospital located in Murdoch, Western Australia. All participants completed the Edinburgh Depression Scale (EDS) and a Antenatal Risk Questionnaire (ANRQ) prior to discharge via an iPad. Results: The mean total score for the EDS was 4.77 (SD = 3.93), with 5% of women scoring above the recommended cut‐off of 13 or more. The mean total score for the ANRQ was 17.73 (SD = 10.72). 45.0% of all women endorsed no significant risk factors. The proportion of women scoring above the recommended ANRQ cut‐off of 23 or more was 32.3%. Approximately 11% of women were referred for additional support or treatment. Acceptability of the ANRQ was high at 97.3%. Conclusions: This study describes the psychosocial profile of a sample of women who recently gave birth in an Australian private maternity hospital and demonstrates that with additional resources, the implementation of psychosocial assessment as a routine component of maternity care was feasible and highly acceptable in this setting.