The Feasibility of the Adverse Childhood Experiences Questionnaire among Women in Danish Antenatal Care: A Mixed-Methods Study

Helle Johnsen, Mette Juhl, Eva Rydahl, Sara Mbaye Karentius, Sabine Marie Rath, Majbritt Friis-Alstrup, Mette Grønbæk Backhausen, Katrine Røhder, Michaela Louise Schiøtz, Lotte Broberg, Vibeke de Lichtenberg

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A traumatic upbringing increases the risks of antenatal health problems, unfavourable pregnancy outcomes, and mental disorders. Such childhood experiences may affect women's pa-renting skills and the social-emotional functioning of their children. Research on screening for adverse childhood experiences in antenatal care is limited. The objective of this study was to explore pregnant women's attitudes towards and experiences of an adverse childhood experiences questionnaire, and to assess the relevance of the questionnaire among a population of pregnant women referred to antenatal care levels one and two, targeting women who are generally not perceived to be vulnerable. Data were collected at three maternity wards and consisted of quantitative data on 1352 women's adverse childhood experience scores, structured observations of 18 midwifery visits, and in-depth interviews with 15 pregnant women. Quantitative data were analysed by descriptive statistics, and qualitative data were analysed using systematic text condensation. The qualitative analysis revealed two main categories: "Being screened for childhood adversities" and "Having adverse childhood experiences". In the study population, the prevalence of adverse childhood experiences was high. The women assessed the adverse childhood experiences questionnaire to be a relevant and acceptable screening method. Furthermore, women's perceptions of their relationship with their midwife greatly impacted their attitudes towards and experiences of the questionnaire.

TidsskriftInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Udgave nummer16
Sider (fra-til)1-19
Antal sider19
StatusUdgivet - 18 aug. 2023


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