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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Nurses' attitudes and experiences working with women receiving methadone maintenance therapy in the postnatal period Dell, Erin


Abstract When working with women and infants on methadone maintenance treatment (MMT), obstetrical nurses may encounter an array of challenges concerning preparation, assessment, workload, and fostering a positive relationship with patient families. Obstetrical nurses also have distinct ways in which they work with each woman to build rapport and provide quality, safe, and effective care. Many research studies have focused on how nurses’ attitudes toward addiction and substances use impacts the quality of care provided, but few studies have explored the experiences of obstetrical nurses caring for women on MMT. This study addresses this knowledge gap, providing insight into how obstetrical nurses provide health care to women and infants on MMT. The findings indicated that most participants drew on personal ideals about mothering, a collaborative team approach, and a non-judgmental attitude to meet the needs of the families on MMT. That said, most participants also recognized their lack of education surrounding MMT and how this impacted the care they provided. Many participants also reported difficulty establishing a positive relationship due to structural constraints - such as workload and staffing - which affected the time required to provide effective bedside care. Finally, this study highlights opportunities to learn how to increase understanding of nurses’ experiences working with women on MMT.  

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