Providing reproductive health promotion in drug treatment clinics
A Formative Evaluation of a Pilot Program
Background and Purpose: Prenatal substance use continues to be a critical public health concern. Integrating reproductive health promotion with addiction treatment is a promising approach to addressing this issue. This study was designed to understand strengths and challenges of a pilot reproductive health program, consisting of preconception/interconception health classes, childbirth education classes, and access to free doula services, for people in addiction treatment. Methods: The study design was a qualitative formative evaluation. Observations of the program (n=9) were conducted along with interviews (n=12) with clients, counselors, and program facilitators. Results: Strengths included a good fit between the program and clients’ needs and commitment to further integrate the program. Challenges included inconsistent participation and issues of facilitator selection and training. Barriers were noted related to the complex and chaotic lives of the clientele. Techniques to address inconsistent participation through mandated attendance as well as rotating and reviewing content showed mixed success. Conclusion: The study found the program to be well-regarded by stakeholders, but several structural challenges were identified. Future programs should strive for greater integration between treatment providers and reproductive health facilitators. Research is also needed to assess the effectiveness of providing integrated reproductive health education to clients engaged in addiction treatment.
Copyright (c) 2019 Tracy R. Nichols, Haley Love
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