Clusters of Behavioral Health and Psychosocial Risk for Childbearing Women in Four Virginia Communities
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Introduction Four Virginia communities participated in a community services enhancement pilot to centralize intake and referral for childbearing women eligible for home visiting support through the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program. Methods As an aspect of the study, project-trained intake workers administered behavioral health and psychosocial risk screening (including emotional health, substance use, interpersonal violence, and smoking) during intake eligibility assessment. Participants identified as at-risk were referred for community intervention concurrently with referral to MIECHV services. Results In the study sample (N = 1515), emotional health was identified as the most common single risk factor (n = 326, 21.5%) and clusters of 2 or more behavioral health risks were identified for 223 (14.7%) of women. Among those with two or more behavioral health risks, smoking was significantly related to all other areas of behavioral health risk. Conclusion Findings from this multi-site pilot emphasize concomitant behavioral health and psychosocial risks in childbearing women and reinforce the importance of embedding comprehensive public health interventions in community systems of care.
KeywordsBehavioral health risk assessment Home visiting Perinatal mental health Screening Community practice
The study was supported by Virginia Department of Health.