Improving Medication Adherence With Buprenorphine Treatment in Pregnant Women With Opioid Use Disorder
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An increase in the significance of illicit opioid addiction during pregnancy continues to be a public health concern due to adverse effects on fetal development and maternal risk behaviors that impact society. The purpose of this pilot, quasi-experimental, evidence-based improvement project was to improve medication adherence to buprenorphine treatment by rapid dose stabilization, early education, and enhancing self-management strategies to mediate self-efficacy behaviors. The sample consisted of four participants at an outpatient substance use clinic in Kansas City, MO. The evidence-based intervention included a self-reported pre-andpost survey for medication adherence. The participants met with the nurse every two weeks to complete a withdrawal scale and the nurse clinician to evaluate for dosing parameters and receive education to promote medication adherence. The Medication Adherence Rating Scale showed limited improvement in medication adherence to buprenorphine treatment, and the Clinical Opiate Withdrawal Scale indicated improvement in opioid withdrawal symptoms. Overall, practicing early intervention with evidence-based treatment to improve buprenorphine dosing parameters in conjunction with early education enhances self-management behaviors promotes medication adherence and reduces relapse rates in pregnant women with opioid use disorder.
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