Objectives: The aim of this study was to examine the extent to which antenatal emotional wellbeing (EW) assessments are undertaken in primary health care (PHC) centres and factors associated with completion of EW screening.
Methods: Medical records of 797 pregnant women from 36 PHC centres in five states (NSW, QLD, SA, WA and NT) were audited.
Results: Overall, 85% of the women were Aboriginal. The proportion of women with documented screening for EW varied from 5 to 38% between states (mean 17%). Aboriginal women were four times more likely (adjusted Odds Ratio (OR = 4.13, 95% CI = 2.46–6.92) to not be screened for antenatal EW than non-Aboriginal women. Aboriginality, <4 antenatal visits, absence of an antenatal and birth care plan, and lack of counselling on financial support were independently linked with no screening of EW.
Conclusion: Provision of training for health service providers and further research on appropriate screening tools for Aboriginal women are needed to help redress this gap.