, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 171-180
Date: 27 May 2005

Acceptability of routine antenatal psychosocial assessments to women from English and non-English speaking backgrounds

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The acceptability of routine psychosocial assessments to women and staff at an antenatal clinic of a public hospital in Sydney, Australia, was investigated. 104 English-speaking women had a telephone interview within a few days of the psychosocial assessment, and 65 of these women also participated in a telephone interview 5–8 weeks after the birth. 14 midwives who had administered the questions were also interviewed. These three sets of interviews indicated that the majority of women and staff considered the psychosocial questions to be appropriate and helpful. Prior to introducing a shorter version of the psychosocial assessment for all women, consultations took place with health professionals and community women from Arabic-speaking (n = 30) and Vietnamese-speaking (n = 39) backgrounds to determine the expected suitability of such questions to women from these ethnic backgrounds. The only consistent concern was that the term ‘husband’ should replace ‘partner’ when interviewing Arabic-speaking women. Telephone interviews were then conducted with a sample of Arabic-speaking (n = 48) and Vietnamese-speaking (n = 50) women within a few days after they had been to the clinic. As with the English-speaking women, most considered the questions to be appropriate and acceptable.