Expanding Contraception Access for Women With Opioid-Use Disorder: A Qualitative Study of Opportunities and Challenges.

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DOI: 10.1177/0890117120927327; PMCID: PMC7577934


PURPOSE: As almost nine in ten pregnancies among women with opioid use disorder (OUD) are unintended, expanding access to contraception is an underutilized but potentially effective strategy in increasing reproductive agency and reducing the overall burden of neonatal abstinence syndrome. We aimed to identify where and how contraceptive services could be integrated into existing points-of-contact for women with OUD.

APPROACH: In-depth qualitative interviews.

SETTING: Three diverse catchment areas in Missouri.

PARTICIPANTS: Women with OUD (n = 15) and professional stakeholders (n = 16) representing five types of existing OUD service points: syringe exchange programs, recovery support programs, substance use treatment programs, emergency departments, and Federally Qualified Health Centers.

METHOD: Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and thematically coded using Dedoose software.

RESULTS: Six themes emerged as essential components for integrating contraceptive services into existing points-of-contact for women with OUD: (1) reach women with unmet need; (2) provide free or affordable contraception; (3) maximize service accessibility; (4) provide patient-centered care; (5) employ willing, qualified contraceptive providers; and (6) utilize peer educators. Participants affirmed the overall potential benefit of contraceptive service integration and illuminated various opportunities and challenges relevant to each type of existing service point.

CONCLUSION: As health promotion initiatives look to increase access to contraception among women with OUD, these six' participant-identified components offer essential guidance in selecting advantageous points-of-contact and addressing remaining gaps in services.

Journal Title

American journal of health promotion : AJHP





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community settings; contraception access; harm reduction; health disparities; long-acting reversible contraception; neonatal abstinence syndrome; opioid use disorder; qualitative research; substance use

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