Opiate use has reached epidemic levels in the United States, resulting in 28,647 deaths in 2014 alone. Prenatally, opioids are used for both pain management and to assist with opiate dependency. The level of risk associated with the use of opiates is much higher for pregnant women, and women of childbearing age, due to the detrimental effects opiates have on the developing fetus including, neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). Maine is leading the nation in the number of NAS births with incidence rates of greater than 30 per 1,000 hospital births. Pregnancy prevention is an upstream approach to reduce unintended pregnancy and prevent NAS. The purpose of this study is to examine providers’ preconception counseling processes among women of childbearing age who are prescribed opiates. This descriptive study followed survey research design. The survey questions were developed based upon the evidence based practice framework, which involves assessment of patient values, application of best available evidence, and clinical judgement. Data from this study will provide preliminary information about the current preconception counseling processes provided to women of childbearing age who are prescribed opioid analgesics. The long-term goal of this research is to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies among women who are prescribed opioid analgesics. This will help to promote public health, and reduce the detrimental effects that the opiate epidemic has on the community.
Iselborn, Lucy A., "Contraceptive Counseling Practices Among Providers Prescribing Opiates to Women of Childbearing Age" (2017). Honors College. 443.