Screening for PTSD in prenatal care in high risk populations: Importance for identification and service provision to promote healthy pregnancy outcomes
Method: Two prenatal care programs located within community health centers participated in a pilot study to test the feasibility and effectiveness of screening for PTSD using the PC-PTSD, a four question screen with a yes/no response format that asks about symptoms without asking about specific traumas. Those who answer yes to at least two of the four questions are considered to have clinical or sub-threshold symptoms of PTSD.
Results: Of 164 pregnant women screened in a 5 month period (7% Asian, 23% Black, 51% Hispanic, 15% White, and 3% other) 33 (23%) screened positive for PTSD symptoms. This rate is double the rate found in studies of commercially insured populations.
Conclusions: Given the high risk of PTSD for pregnancy outcomes, and the increased prevalence in these ethnically and economically diverse community health center prenatal settings, a simple tool to screen for PTSD, along with referrals to appropriate services may greatly improve prenatal and postpartum health.
Learning Areas:Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Explain the association of PTSD to poorer pregnancy outcomes. Describe a feasible PTSD screening process in prenatal care. Differentiate rates of PTSD symptoms in a high risk population compared to commercially insured women.
Keyword(s): Prenatal Interventions, Mental Health
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a professor of Family Medicine and Community Health and Pediatrics at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and Principal Investigator on a MCHB/HRSA grant that we will be presenting results from.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.