What is the Health Professional’s Role in Perinatal Psychosocial Screening Assessment and Referral in the Private Sector?

Author(s): Tanya Connell

Background: This paper is a discussion paper exploring the health professionals role in psychosocial assessment in the private sector. This study is part of a larger study.

Aim: The aim of this paper is to explore and discuss the health professionals role in psychosocial screening in the private sector. The aim of a larger study was to pilot universal, routine, psychosocial assessment and depression screening in a private hospital.

This article is highly significant to inform health professionals of their role in psychosocial screening and assessment. Little is known about this area and little is published. This will influence screening practices and identify risk factors for postnatal/antenatal anxiety, depression and other disorders. This will influence the introduction of best practice and consistency in psychosocial assessment in the private and the public sector. It will identify/initiate effective referral pathways for follow-up of women identified as high risk of psychosocial problems and mental illness.


The identification of quality local pathways to care underpinning the implementation of universal psychosocial assessment: to address the care and intervention needs of women identified as being at risk, experiencing mild or moderate difficulties through to women experiencing complex and or severe mental illness. The wide range of services and sectors required involves developing a system of care that is effectively networked, collaborative and responsive to the whole family.

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