204630 Methamphetamine use: Women's experiences during pregnancy

Monday, November 9, 2009

Marilyn E. Gyllstrom, MPH , Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Wendy Hellerstedt, MPH, PhD , School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Objective: The purpose of our study was to describe the experiences of pregnant women who used methamphetamine, examine their patterns of use and understand their interactions with the health care and social service systems.

Methods: Women were recruited from drug treatment programs in Minnesota. Fifteen pregnant women completed a self-administered written questionnaire and an interview between December 2006-December 2008. Eligibility criteria included women who: were currently pregnant; had used methamphetamine during the three months prior to conception or during pregnancy; were eighteen years of age or older; and were planning to carry the pregnancy to term. Women received a $20 Target gift card for each component of the study, for a total of $40.

Results: Emergent preliminary themes include the use of methamphetamines to accomplish many tasks related to “women's work”; the role of family members, as opposed to peers or intimate partners, as a gateway; and the inconsistencies in health care experiences based on provider response to learning about women's drug history.

Conclusions: Maternal methampetamine use remains largely unstudied. Our results can provide information about patterns of methamphetamine use, women's mental health status and use patterns, and the impact of their pregnancies on their sobriety. A strong focus of the interview was women's experiences with the health care system. These results can guide providers and policymakers with their approach to working with pregnant women who have a history of methamphetamine use.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the main reasons women began using methamphetamine. 2. Discuss the role of providers in working effectively with pregnant women with a history of drug use.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Not Answered