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Assessment of the relative clinical utility of shortened Finnegan neonatal abstinence scoring tools



To assess the proposed shortened tools based on the Finnegan neonatal abstinence scoring tool (FNAS) for relative clinical utility.

Study design

Retrospective study comparing shortened tools with FNAS on need for treatment, medication initiation cutoff score agreement, and length of treatment in 369 infants with prenatal opioid exposure using estimated areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves, Pearson and Spearman correlations, and proportion correctly classified, sensitivity, and specificity.


The tools by Gomez et al. and Chervoneva et al. are most predictive of the FNAS cut-off values to initiate treatment, have cutoff values that best align with the FNAS cutoff values, and strongly correlate with the FNAS (r ≥ 0.88 corresponding to treatment initiation, r ≥ 0.83 during first 10 days of treatment).


The tools of Gomez and Chervoneva demonstrated potential clinical usefulness by strongly associating with the need for treatment and monitoring the course of NAS therapy.

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The project described was supported by NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01DA043519) and the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (UL1TR001998).

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JSM assisted in the acquisition of data, interpretation of findings, drafted the initial manuscript, and reviewed and revised the manuscript. HB conceptualized the study, coordinated and supervised data collection, and critically revised the manuscript. ML conceptualized the study and critically reviewed the manuscript. PW conceptualized and designed the study, carried out the analyses, interpreted the findings, and critically revised the manuscript. All authors approved the final manuscript as submitted and agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

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Correspondence to Jennifer Shearer Miller.

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Miller, J.S., Bada, H.S., Leggas, M. et al. Assessment of the relative clinical utility of shortened Finnegan neonatal abstinence scoring tools. J Perinatol 42, 1051–1057 (2022).

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