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Obstetrician–gynecologists’ practice patterns related to opioid use during pregnancy and postpartum—United States, 2017



To describe obstetrician–gynecologists’ practices and attitudes related to opioid use among pregnant and postpartum women.

Study design

A 2017 cross-sectional survey assessed U.S. obstetrician–gynecologists’ (N = 462; response rate = 34%) practices (management) and attitudes (knowledge, preparedness, confidence, barriers, and resources needed) related to opioid use among pregnant and postpartum women. Modified Poisson regression determined adjusted prevalence ratios (aPR) for advising medication-assisted therapy (MAT) for pregnant women with opioid use disorder (OUD) by knowledge, confidence, and preparedness.


Of respondents, 33% always or usually advised MAT to pregnant women with OUD. Confidence in treating pregnant women who use opioids (aPR: 1.3, 95% CI: 1.0–1.8) and knowledge that substance use services were covered under the Affordable Care Act (aPR: 1.4, 95% CI: 1.1–1.8) were associated with advising MAT.


Evidence suggests that efforts are needed to enhance physician confidence to manage pregnant and postpartum patients who use opioids, which may increase optimal care of this patient population.

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We would like to thank the respondents of the survey for their time and participation.


This work was funded by a contract to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC; #200-2015-M-63715). CS and JS were, in part, supported by UA6MC19010 and UA6MC31609 from the Maternal Child Health Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration.

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Correspondence to Jean Y. Ko.

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The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the US Department of Health and Human Services, the US Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HRSA, or the authors’ affiliated institutions. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Ko, J.Y., Tong, V.T., Haight, S.C. et al. Obstetrician–gynecologists’ practice patterns related to opioid use during pregnancy and postpartum—United States, 2017. J Perinatol 40, 412–421 (2020).

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