Attitudes Toward Medication for Opioid Use Disorder Among Pregnant and Postpartum Women and People Seeking Treatment

Devin E. Banks, Andrea Fentem, Xiao Li, Maria Paschke, Lindsey Filiatreau, Candice Woolfolk, Patricia Cavazos-Rehg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives Pregnant and postpartum women and people (PPWP) who use opioids experience higher rates of morbidity, preterm labor, and stillbirth than those who do not. Although medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) is the standard of treatment, utilization among PPWP has remained low because of MOUD stigma and misconceptions. The current report examined general and pregnancy-related MOUD attitudes, norms, and self-efficacy among PPWP seeking treatment. Methods Participants (n = 33) receiving MOUD at a Midwestern clinic reported beliefs about MOUD in general using the Attitudes toward Methadone Questionnaire (modified to include all MOUD) and during pregnancy/postpartum using an investigator-generated scale based on previous research. Participants responded using a 5-point scale from "strongly agree"to "strongly disagree"with higher scores indicating more positive attitudes. Analyses examined the bivariate association of attitudes with MOUD subjective norms and self-efficacy, also measured via investigator-generated scales. Results Respondents reported positive attitudes toward MOUD use during pregnancy, with most agreeing it was safe. However, up-to-half of participants reported uncertainty regarding the appropriate dosage of MOUD and its impact on the fetus and/or neonate. Both general and pregnancy/postpartum-related MOUD attitudes were positively associated with subjective norms toward MOUD. Conclusions Pregnant and postpartum women and people reported high uncertainty about MOUD use despite currently using it, emphasizing the need for strategies that assess and mitigate MOUD-related stigma. Findings suggest that familial support and stigma impact attitudes toward MOUD and highlight the importance of accurate psychoeducation and social supports for patients and their families to improve the acceptance and utilization of MOUD among PPWP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-359
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Addiction Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2023


  • medication for opioid use disorder
  • opioids
  • pregnancy
  • stigma
  • women


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