Opportunities to Increase Well-Child Care Engagement for Families Affected by Maternal Opioid Use Disorder: Perceptions of Mothers and Clinicians

Acad Pediatr. 2023 Mar;23(2):425-433. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2022.07.013. Epub 2022 Jul 22.


Objective: Previous research suggests gaps in well-child care (WCC) adherence, quality, and effectiveness for children impacted by parental opioid use disorder (OUD). The objective of this study was to gather in-depth information regarding maternal and clinician-reported factors that enhance ("facilitators") or hinder ("barriers") WCC engagement as well as mothers' experiences during WCC visits.

Methods: Thirty mothers who were in treatment for OUD and 13 clinicians working at a pediatric primary care clinic participated in this qualitative study. All participants completed one data collection telephone session which involved a brief questionnaire followed by a semi-structured interview. Thematic analyses of the interview transcripts were conducted using an inductive approach.

Results: Three broad themes were identified as facilitators of WCC by mothers and clinicians, including: 1) continuity in care, 2) addressing material needs, and 3) clinician OUD training and knowledge. Themes identified as barriers to WCC included: 1) stigma toward mothers with OUD, 2) gaps in basic parenting knowledge, 3) competing specialized health care needs, and 4) insufficient time to address all concerns.

Conclusion: WCC programs or clinical pathways designed for families affected by maternal OUD should consider these barriers and facilitators of WCC engagement and affect experiences of WCC for mothers and clinicians.

Keywords: maternal opioid use disorder; perceptions; well-child care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Care
  • Child Health
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mothers*
  • Opioid-Related Disorders*