Systematic Prenatal Screening for Psychosocial Risks


The Prenatal Risk Overview (PRO) was designed to screen for 13 psychosocial risk factors associated with poor birth outcomes. This study describes the development and implementation of the PRO in 4 community health centers. The study also examines the prevalence, co-occurrence, and inter-correlations of psychosocial risks in their prenatal populations. The study sample included 1,386 prenatal patients screened between November 2005 and April 2007; 95% were women of color; 77% were not married. The PRO classified 48% at moderate or high risk for housing instability; 32% for food insecurity; 75% for lack of social support; 7% for intimate partner violence; 9% for other physical/sexual abuse; 18% for depression; 23% for cigarette use, 23% for alcohol use, and 25% for drug use. Systematically assessing and quantifying psychosocial risks are essential activities for evaluating the extent to which appropriate and timely responses to identified risks reduce infant mortality, preterm births, and low birth weights.