Work as a social risk factor in pregnancy: A systematic review of screening practices related to working conditions and family leave among pregnant adults

Julia M. Goodman, Mina Colon, Erika K Cottrell, Jeanne Marie Guise

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Paid family leave and working conditions are components of employment quality—a key social determinant of health across the life course, particularly during pregnancy. Increased research on prenatal social risk screening has not extended to employment quality. The objective of this systematic review was to identify prenatal screening practices and interventions in health care settings that address employment and working conditions as social risk factors among pregnant adults and to describe their properties and key findings. Method: We searched MEDLINE, PsychINFO, SocINDEX, EMBASE, and the SIREN Evidence and Resource Library for studies published through February 14, 2022. We selected multiple search terms related to four domains: (1) employment or working conditions; (2) screening; (3) health care settings; and (4) pregnancy or maternal health. Results: Of the 2317 unique titles and abstracts that were potentially relevant, eight articles met all inclusion criteria and focused on pregnant populations. The content of identified screening practices varied substantially, highlighting the multiple ways employment is conceptualized as a potential risk factor. Few studies included multidimensional measures of employment to assess working conditions, which may be particularly relevant during pregnancy. Conclusions: Our review suggests that screening for employment as a social risk factor does not regularly occur in prenatal care. Although pragmatic properties of the screening tools we assessed are promising, tools seldom examine the multidimensional nature of work. Understanding the principal intent of screening for employment prenatally could provide greater opportunity to collect and interpret contextual factors that influence how both providers and patients respond to social risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalBirth
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • paid family leave
  • prenatal care
  • social determinants of health
  • social risk screening
  • working conditions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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