Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 16, Issue 9, pp 1791–1800

Validation of the Alcohol Use Module from a Multidimensional Prenatal Psychosocial Risk Screening Instrument


    • Minneapolis Department of Health and Family Support
  • Amy Godecker
    • Minneapolis Department of Health and Family Support
  • Abbey C. Sidebottom
    • Allina Hospitals and Clinics

DOI: 10.1007/s10995-011-0926-2

Cite this article as:
Harrison, P.A., Godecker, A. & Sidebottom, A.C. Matern Child Health J (2012) 16: 1791. doi:10.1007/s10995-011-0926-2


The purpose of the study was to validate the Prenatal Risk Overview (PRO) Alcohol use domain against a structured diagnostic interview. The PRO was developed to screen for 13 psychosocial risk factors associated with poor birth outcomes. After clinic staff administered the PRO to prenatal patients, they asked for consent to administration of selected modules of the structured clinical interview for DSM-IV (SCID) by a research assistant. To assess the criterion validity of the PRO, low and moderate/high risk classifications from the alcohol use domain were cross-tabulated with SCID Alcohol Use Disorder variables. The study sample included 744 women. Based on PRO responses, 48.7% reported alcohol use during the 12 months before they learned they were pregnant; 5.4% reported use post pregnancy awareness. The typical quantity consumed pre-pregnancy was four or more drinks per occasion. Based on the SCID, 7.4% met DSM-IV criteria for either Alcohol Abuse or Dependence. Sensitivity and specificity of the PRO for Alcohol Use Disorders were 83.6 and 80.3%, respectively. Negative predictive value was 98.4% and positive predictive value was 25.3%. The results indicate the PRO effectively identified pregnant women with Alcohol Use Disorders. However, prenatal screening must also detect consumption patterns that do not meet diagnostic thresholds but may endanger fetal development. The PRO also identified women who continued to drink after they knew they were pregnant, as well as those whose previous drinking habits put them at risk for resumption of hazardous use.


Prenatal alcohol usePrenatal screeningAlcohol use disordersPregnancy

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011