Preferences for Mental Health Screening Among Pregnant Women
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INTRODUCTION: The process of mental health screening can influence disclosure, uptake of referral, and treatment; however, no studies have explored pregnant women's views of methods of mental health screening. The objectives of this study are to determine pregnant women's comfort and preferences regarding mental health screening. METHODS: Pregnant women were recruited (May-December 2013) for this cross-sectional descriptive survey from prenatal classes and maternity clinics in Alberta, Canada, if they were aged >16 years and spoke/read English. Descriptive statistics summarized acceptability of screening, and multivariable logistic regression identified factors associated with women's comfort with screening methods. Analysis was conducted in January-December 2014. RESULTS: The participation rate was 92% (N=460/500). Overall, 97.6% of women reported that they were very (74.8%) or somewhat (22.8%) comfortable with mental health screening in pregnancy. Women were most comfortable with completing paper- (>90%) and computer-based (>82%) screening in a clinic or at home, with fewest reporting comfort with telephone-based screening (62%). The majority of women were very/somewhat comfortable with provider-initiated (97.4%) versus self-initiated (68.7%) approaches. Women's ability to be honest with their provider about emotional health was most strongly associated with comfort with each method of screening. CONCLUSIONS: The majority of pregnant women viewed prenatal mental health screening favorably and were comfortable with a variety of screening methods. These findings provide evidence of high acceptability of screening--a key criterion for implementation of universal screening--and suggest that providers can select from a variety of screening methods best suited for their clinical setting.
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