Psychosocial characteristics and obstetric health of women attending a specialist substance use antenatal clinic in a large metropolitan hospital
journal contributionposted on 01.01.2011, 00:00 authored by L Burns, E Conroy, E A Moore, Delyse HutchinsonDelyse Hutchinson, P S Haber
Objective. This paper reports the findings comparing the obstetrical health, antenatal care, and psychosocial characteristics of pregnant women with a known history of substance dependence ( = 41) and a comparison group of pregnant women attending a general antenatal clinic ( = 47). Method. Face-to-face interviews were used to assess obstetrical health, antenatal care, physical and mental functioning, substance use, and exposure to violence. Results. The substance-dependent group had more difficulty accessing antenatal care and reported more obstetrical health complications during pregnancy. Women in the substance-dependent group were more likely to report not wanting to become pregnant and were less likely to report using birth control at the time of conception. Conclusions. The profile of pregnant women (in specialised antenatal care for substance dependence) is one of severe disadvantage and poor health. The challenge is to develop and resource innovative and effective multisectoral systems to educate women and provide effective care for both women and infants.