BACKGROUND: Antenatal psychosocial vulnerability is a main concern in today's perinatal health care setting. Undetected psychosocially vulnerable pregnant women and their unborn child are at risk for unfavourable health outcomes such as poor birth outcomes or mental state. In order to detect potential risks and prevent worse outcomes, timely and accurate detection of antenatal psychosocial vulnerability is necessary. Therefore, this paper aims to develop a screening tool 'the Born in Brussels Screening Tool (ST)' aimed at detecting antenatal psychosocial vulnerability.
METHODS: The Born in Brussels ST was developed based on a literature search of existing screening tools measuring antenatal psychosocial vulnerability. Indicators and items (i.e. questions) were evaluated and selected. The assigned points for the answer options were determined based on a survey sent out to caregivers experienced in antenatal (psychosocial) vulnerability. Further refinement of the tool's content and the assigned points was based on expert panels' advice.
RESULTS: The Born in Brussels ST consists of 22 items that focus on 13 indicators: communication, place of birth, residence status, education, occupational status, partner's occupation, financial situation, housing situation, social support, depression, anxiety, substance use and domestic violence. Based on the 168 caregivers who participated in the survey, assigned points account between 0,5 and 4. Threshold scores of each indicator were associated with adapted care paths.
CONCLUSION: Generalied and accurate detection of antenatal psychosocial vulnerability is needed. The brief and practical oriented Born in Brussels ST is a first step that can lead to an adequate and adapted care pathway for vulnerable pregnant women.