Clinical characteristics of Central European and North American samples of pregnant women screened for opioid agonist treatment
Background: Little comparable information is available regarding clinical characteristics of opioid-dependent women from different countries. In the present study, women from the USA, Canada and a Central European country, Austria, screened for participation in the Maternal Opioid Treatment Human Experimental Research study, were compared with respect to their demographic and addiction histories. Methods: Pregnant women (n = 1,074) were screened for study participation using uniformed clinical criteria and instruments. The screening results were compared with regard to exclusion, demographics, drug use, and psychosocial and treatment histories. Results: Compared to the screened US and Canadian women, Austrian women were more likely to be younger (p < 0.001), white (p < 0.001), had significantly lower levels of educational attainment (p < 0.001), were less likely to use opioids daily (p < 0.001) and more likely to have been prescribed buprenorphine (p < 0.001). Compared to both rural and urban US groups, the Austrian group was less likely to have legal issues (p < 0.001) and was younger when first prescribed agonist medication (p < 0.001). Conclusion: The differences between North American and European groups may offer unique insights concerning treatment and pregnancy outcomes for opioid-dependent pregnant women.
Unger, AS., Martin, PR., Kaltenbach, K., Stine, SM., Heil, SH., Jones, H., ... Fischer, G. (2010). Clinical characteristics of Central European and North American samples of pregnant women screened for opioid agonist treatment. European Addiction Research, 16(2), 99-107. DOI: 10.1159/000284683