Service user and service provider accounts of managing the risks and realities of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome: an exploratory study in Lothian.

Organisation : NHS Lothian
Grant Amount : £ 39,481

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) is a group of drug withdrawal symptoms seen in infants born to mothers dependent on certain drugs e.g. opioids. NAS is associated with poor outcomes, is a stigmatising diagnosis, is growing in prevalence and is costly to treat. There is a lack of consensus about how best to care for the infant, the mother-infant dyad and the wider family. A dearth of qualitative research on the topic adds to our poor understanding about what helps or hinders good quality care. This study aims to address this evidence gap through in-depth qualitative interviews with drug-using parents and focus groups with professionals, examining how they manage the risks and realities of caring for an infant with NAS during the antenatal and postnatal period in both hospital and community settings. Findings will inform early years’ policy and clinical practice with vulnerable families.