Online Program

Enhancing Behavioral Health Risk Screening and Referral for Pregnant and Postpartum Women: A Community Stakeholder Perspective

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

D. Crystal Coles, PhD, LSCSW, School of Social Work, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
Sarah Kye Price, PhD, MSW, MS, School of Social Work, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
Background: The Behavioral Health Integrated Centralized Intake (BHCI) project is multi-site MIECHV funded CBPR initiative emphasizing coordinated systems of care and a consistent point of entry into home visiting for pregnant and postpartum women.  Four communities conceptualized and implemented a streamlined and centralized access point to maternal and child health home visiting services into which behavioral health risk screening was seamlessly integrated.

Methods: Participants from representative stakeholder groups were recruited across all four sites (N=30) for in depth interviews during both the formative and implementation stages of BHCI.  We utilized open coding and constant comparison to identify themes related to the development and sustenance of community partnerships; themes were compiled into an exhaustive case study of the investigated phenomena that was presented back to each community.

Findings: Seven primary themes emerged from the data, highlighting community strengths and barriers to the centralized intake process.  Themes included varying power dynamics in partnerships, community collaboration readiness, and the degree of emphasis on client experience either which hindered or strengthened the BHCI implementation in each community.

Implications: This formative evaluation utilizing participatory case study development opened dialogue among community partners regarding the complexity of community partnerships, and the impact of that complexity on addressing behavioral health risk of pregnant and postpartum women. Community barriers were brought into the collaborative conversation and shifts were made in services and partnership structures that significantly improved both outputs and client outcomes of the project.  This strategy may be an important tool for augmenting the collaborative potential of community partnerships.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify facilitators, barriers, and collaborative strategies that fostered or hindered centralized intake development and implementation. Explain the complexity of community partnerships and the impact of that complexity on addressing behavioral health risk of pregnant and postpartum women Discuss qualitative data trends inclusive of behavioral health risk identification and service utilization for women across four pilot communities.

Keyword(s): Community Health Planning, Maternal and Child Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been trained as a mental health services researcher, and one of my primary research interest and experience is in the integration of mental health services into existing public health systems of support for pregnant and postpartum women. I am also the project coordinator of a research project funded through USDHHS and the Virginia Department of Health.
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.