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Multidisciplinary Antenatal Care for Opiate-Using Women: Child-Care Issues

NCJ Number
Drug and Alcohol Review Volume: 29 Issue: 2 Dated: March 2010 Pages: 189-192
Aderonke A. Adeniji; Alison Purcell; Lorraine Pearson; Jan M. Antcliffe; Susan Tutty; Chitra Sinha; Peter W. Pairaudeau; Stephen W. Lindow
Date Published
March 2010
4 pages
A review of records was conducted to document the decisions made by a multidisciplinary team, set up to care for substance-abusing pregnant women, in relation to the providers of child care in women who used opiates in pregnancy.
The fact that particular parents suffer afflictions limiting their ability to care does not mean that they should automatically be deemed unsuitable parents. Prompted by neonatal team concerns about child-care issues, a local multidisciplinary group was set up to care for substance-abusing pregnant women in our region. This project was conducted in order to review the records of all the women who had been discussed at our management planning meetings over the past 5 years. Our assessment tool records were reviewed and analysed using SPSS. A total of 233 women were assessed. The majority of patients booked before 20 weeks (62 percent) and 96 women (41 percent) attended over 80 percent of their antenatal appointments. There was little change in substance use during the course of pregnancy. Overall, at delivery, 196 of the 233 women (84 percent) used methadone and 89 (38 percent) used heroin. There was no correlation between usage and foster care of the baby (methadone: X squared = 0.5, = 0.8 NS) (heroin: X squared = 3.1, P = 0.08 NS). There was an absolute correlation between social services involvement and foster care (X squared = 2.33, P = less than 0.0001). Adherence with planned antenatal appointments significantly increased the likelihood of a child being discharged with his mother (X squared = 6.7, P = 0.009). The majority of newborns were discharged home with their mothers directly with the most significant factor in placing a child in foster care being prior involvement of social services. However, many of these families will continue to need support during the children's early years. Figure, table, and references (Published Abstract)