Purpose: Opioid-dependent pregnant women are characterized by drug use during pregnancy and deficits in knowledge of newborn care and feeding, and of child development. We assessed parenting skills and concerns among pregnant women in buprenorphine treatment for prescription opioid dependence.
Study Design and Methods: We interviewed 32 pregnant women who received buprenorphine treatment for prescription opioid dependence in a primary care setting and administered questionnaires, including the Adult-Adolescent Parenting Inventory version 2 (AAPI-2) and Childhood Experience of Care and Abuse Questionnaire.
Results: AAPI-2 scores revealed medium risk of abuse for all five scales: inappropriate expectations of the child, low level of empathy, strong belief in corporal punishment, reversal of parent–child roles, and oppression of children's power and independence. Primary concerns of participants were neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) and their child's health. Pregnant women who received buprenorphine for treatment of prescription opioid dependence showed a lack of appropriate parenting skills, but did not express concern about their ability to parent.
Clinical Implications: Our findings suggest a need for nurses to assist prescription opioid-dependent pregnant women in acquiring additional parenting skills, to refer for educational parenting intervention, and to educate patients about NAS.