Measuring the Impact of Child Safeguarding in Pregnancy Risk Factors on HSC Professionals Decision Making to Initiate or Receive Referrals- A Factorial Survey Approach

Helena Mc Elhinney, Brian Taylor, Marlene Sinclair

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Background: Health and Social Care (HSC) professionals have to assess the risk of harm to an unborn child. Supported by legislation, policies, standards and procedures, professionals must use their clinical judgement when presented with factors impacting upon the safety of an unborn child. There is limited knowledge on professional judgements on child safeguarding in pregnancy.Aim: To measure the impact of identified risk factors on HSC professional judgements regarding child safeguarding issues in pregnancy.Methodology: A systematic narrative review of literature was completed alongside focus groups with midwives and children services social workers in the South Eastern HSC Trust, Northern Ireland. These were used to identify and scale risk factors and shape the language used to describe them. Child safeguarding in pregnancy vignettes were developed using these factors for the factorial survey. An innovative approach to constructing the survey on Qualtrics online system will be outlined. The survey will be administered in April 2016.Analysis: Data from the survey will be exported from Qualtrics into SPSS, and analysed using multiple regression and ANOVA. Results: The survey will measure the impact of identified risk factors (IV) on professional judgement around the perceived risk of harm (DV) to and unborn child and the judgements of the appropriateness of a referral (DV) for child protection.Conclusion and Implications: It is anticipated that preliminary results from the study will be available for presentation in the poster at the conference. A greater understanding of these professional judgements will assist in developing inter-professional understanding and effective procedures.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
Number of pages1
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 30 Mar 2016
EventInternational Symposium Factorial Survey 2016 - London
Duration: 30 Mar 2016 → …


ConferenceInternational Symposium Factorial Survey 2016
Period30/03/16 → …



  • Child safeguarding
  • pregnancy
  • decision making
  • assessment
  • risk
  • social work
  • midwifery
  • Qualtrics
  • factorial survey
  • vignettes
  • judgement

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