A Qualitative Study of an Integrated Maternity, Drugs and Social Care Service for Drug-using Women.

Hall, J. L. and van Teijlingen, E., 2006. A Qualitative Study of an Integrated Maternity, Drugs and Social Care Service for Drug-using Women. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 6 (19).

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DOI: 10.1186/1471-2393-6-19

Abstract

Background: The care of drug-using pregnant women is a growing health and social care concern in many countries. A specialist clinic was established offering multidisciplinary care and advice to pregnant drug users in and around Aberdeen (UK) in 1997. The majority of women stabilise and reduce their drug use. By determining the needs and views of the women more appropriate services and prevention strategies may be developed. There has been little research conducted in this area and none in Scotland. Methods: This is a qualitative study that aimed to gain an understanding of the experiences of women drug users, seeking and receiving prenatal care and drug services from a specialist clinic. Twelve women participated in semi-structured one-to-one interviews. Results: The women preferred the multidisciplinary clinic (one-stop shop) to traditional prenatal care centred within General Practice. The relationships of the clients to the range of Clinic professionals and in hospital were explored as well as attitudes to Clinic care. The study participants attributed success in reducing their drug use to the combination of different aspects of care of the multi-agency clinic, especially the high level prenatal support. It is this arrangement of all aspects of care together that seem to produce better outcomes for mother and child than single care elements delivered separately. Some women reported that their pregnancy encouraged them to rapidly detoxify due to the guilt experienced. The most important aspects of the Clinic care were found to be non-judgemental attitude of staff, consistent staff, high level of support, reliable information and multi-agency integrated care. Conclusion: There is an impetus for women drug users to change lifestyle during pregnancy. The study highlighted a need for women to have access to reliable information on the effects of drugs on the baby. Further research is required to determine whether positive outcomes related to clinic attendance in the prenatal period are sustained in the postnatal period. Early referral to a specialist clinic is of benefit to the women, as they reported to receive more appropriate care, especially in relation to their drug use. A greater awareness of needs of the pregnant drug user could help the design of more effective prevention strategies.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:1471-2393
Subjects:Psychology
Social Sciences > Social Work
Technology > Medicine and Health > Nursing and Midwifery
Technology > Medicine and Health
Group:School of Health and Social Care
ID Code:9847
Deposited By:Prof Edwin van Teijlingen
Deposited On:14 May 2009 17:37
Last Modified:07 Mar 2013 15:08

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