Maternal Adverse Childhood Experience Screening in Perinatal Care: Knowledge Practices, and Barriers of Women's Healthcare Providers
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Background & Significance: Maternal adverse childhood experiences (ACE) are a significant risk factor for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMAD) and other maternal complications. Currently, maternal ACE screening has not become standard practice in prenatal care. Purpose & Objectives: The objective of this project was to explore the current practice, knowledge, and barriers of maternal ACE screening in prenatal care among women’s health care providers (WHCP). Theoretical Framework: The Biopsychosocial Model was used as a theoretical guide. This framework converged appropriately with this project, to increase provider awareness of the associations between biological, environmental, and psychosocial risk (maternal ACE) and how it is influencing patient outcomes in the prenatal and postnatal period (risk for poor birth outcomes, risk for PMAD). Methods & Design: A qualitative descriptive approach was implemented. Snowball sampling was utilized to recruit 8 participants. Individual interview sessions took place with use of semi-structured questionnaire and probing questions. Interview sessions were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. The Braun and Clarke (2006) thematic analysis method was utilized for data analysis and findings were reviewed by a qualitative methods expert. Findings & Future Implications: Project findings revealed a main theme in intuition-based screening as well as several supporting themes. Based on findings, an educational handout was created for women’s health care providers. Future recommendations include: Clarifying the role of WHCP in maternal mental health, expanding WHCP knowledge of maternal ACE screening, educating WHCP on evidence based PMAD screening and tools, and increasing professional guidance.