Preterm birth prevention: A mandate for psychosocial assessment

Regina P. Lederman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Reviews panels on the prevention of preterm birth (PTB) conducted by the Office of the Surgeon General and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development made numerous novel recommendations for research on the assessment of risk factors for PTB and the development of personalized, specific interventions for the prevention of PTB. This paper discusses the particularly significant roles for nurses in assessment and intervention based on their education in pregnancy and in multiple health-related disciplines. General differences and specific anxiety assessment are presented based on the goals of research. An emphasis is placed on assessment of pregnancy-specific anxiety, and assessment and intervention methods that include the father/partner and couple using family system methodologies. The risks occurring with differences in partner intentions for pregnancy are discussed, and especially the benefits of male partner involvement and support. It is noted that interventions may need to be varied based on differences in gender, ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic status. Differences in individual or group intervention psychotherapy approaches are considered. The special risks and needs of pregnant military couples, especially those with deployed partners are presented. Variations in anxiety are discussed in terms of implications for maternal/paternal fetal and child attachment from birth to adulthood. Discussion includes the considerable and varied parenting and financial strains that continue long after birth, with significant impact for parent-child mental and physical health, and the need for development of long-term interventions that include parental coping strategies and parental empowerment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-169
Number of pages7
JournalIssues in Mental Health Nursing
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health


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