Barriers to Screening Pregnant Women for Substance Abuse Essay

1069 Words 5 Pages
Title: Barriers to screening pregnant women for substance abuse
Drug and alcohol use in pregnancy poses a threat to the neonate’s development and the obstetric provider has an obligation to screen for substance use. Substance use in pregnancy can place the developing fetus at risk for in-utero opioid dependence, fetal-alcohol syndrome, preterm labor, and other consequences of maternal alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drug use.(6) Within the past three years La Crosse County has seen a marked increase in the amount of heroin use.(7)
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist (ACOG) has clearly documented how instrumental the Obstetrician can be in screening patients for alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drug use.
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This study aims to [1] assess providers knowledge of screening for substance abuse [2] assess providers beliefs of screening [3] determine the frequently providers are screening [4] determine major barriers in discussing substance use with patients [5] determine if there are adequate substance abuse resources in the La Crosse community accessible to pregnant women.

Participants were selected from Gundersen Health System and Mayo Health in La Crosse. A total of 85 physicians and certified nurse midwives (CNM) were selected. The physicians included Obstetrician, Family Medicine, and Family Medicine Residents. There was a total 23 Obstetrician, 51 Family Medicine, 8 CNMA. *** There were more females in the sample then males based on the prevalence of females providing obstetric care. Age was included w to assess whether there is a difference in practice or attitude towards screening. Recruitment was done via email initially sent out January 27, 2014 to providers at Gundersen Health and Mayo La Crosse. An additional email was sent weeks later to encourage providers to please complete the survey. The email included a brief paragraph describing the purpose of the study, confidentiality, and contact data for further information. Consent was implied by completion of the survey. This study was approved by the Gundersen Health Systems, internal review board.

Survey Instrument
A 48-item questionnaire was

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