Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 16, Issue 9, pp 1791–1800 | Cite as

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

  • Patricia A. Harrison
  • Amy Godecker
  • Abbey C. Sidebottom


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 use Prenatal screening Alcohol use disorders Pregnancy 



This research was funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Grant Number R40MC07840. The Community University Health Care Center and North Point Health and Wellness Center in Minneapolis and West Side Community Health Services East Side Family Clinic in St. Paul served as study sites. The authors acknowledge Stacye Ballard for conducting diagnostic interviews and study coordination, and Carol Peterson for SCID training.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patricia A. Harrison
    • 1
  • Amy Godecker
    • 1
  • Abbey C. Sidebottom
    • 2
  1. 1.Minneapolis Department of Health and Family SupportMinneapolisUSA
  2. 2.Allina Hospitals and ClinicsMinneapolisUSA

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