Purchase Print Copy

Add to Cart Paperback10 pages Free

This article reports the results of a national mail survey of practicing obstetricians and pediatricians who see neonates (response rate, 63%). More than 70% reported having ever suspected prenatal substance abuse; 27% reported they had never suspected it. The most common lifetime pattern (60%) was some response whenever prenatal substance abuse was suspected; just over 10% had a discretionary response, acting in some cases but ignoring others; 2% consistently ignored their suspicions. Getting help for the patient and protecting the fetus were the most common reasons to act. Among physicians who ignored their suspicions, lack of sufficient evidence of substance use was the reason cited most often. Obstetricians are far more likely to provide the patient with information and get a substance abuse history, and pediatricians are more inclined to involve outsiders; but both seem quite willing to act on their suspicions of prenatal substance abuse and generally respond by taking positive actions.

Originally published in: Maternal and Child Health Journal, v. 3, no. 1, March 1999, pp. 29-38.

This report is part of the RAND reprint series. The Reprint was a product of RAND from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.