Educational Care Binder to Improve Appointment Attendance After Prenatal Exposure to Methadone
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Long-term effects such as vision abnormalities, motor concerns, developmental delay, cognitive issues, and behavioral difficulties have been associated with prenatal methadone exposure. Follow up care is a valuable resource to identify concerns early and initiate interventions prior to development of long-term complications. The purpose of this evidence-based project was to determine if an educational care binder improved adherence to specialty follow up appointments for infants prenatally exposed to methadone. The project was conducted using a quasiexperimental design with a convenience sample and a retrospective comparison group. Two infants prenatally exposed to methadone and their caregivers were identified to participate in this project. The setting occurred at the regional drug endangered children clinic in a Midwestern metropolitan area. An educational care binder was given to caregivers that included an introduction to the clinic and its providers, education on the potential long-term effects of prenatal methadone exposure, and the benefits of follow up care. Appointment attendance rates were collected and compared with pre-intervention rates. Attendance rates were unchanged with 50% of both the intervention participants and the comparison group attending the two recommended follow up appointments. Follow up care is a valuable resource to identify concerns early and initiate interventions prior to development of long-term, potentially irreversible, complications.
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