Provision of and Barriers to Integrating Reproductive and Sexual Health Services for Reproductive-age Women in Opioid Treatment Programs


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Abstract

Objectives:To identify the level of provision of reproductive and sexual health (RSH) services to reproductive-age women enrolled in opioid treatment programs (OTPs) in 2017, and to understand provider-perceived barriers to integration of services.Methods:A web-based survey was sent to medical or program directors at all OTPs (n = 48) in North Carolina (NC). Data were collected regarding program characteristics, demographic information about female patient populations, provision of RSH services, and provider-perceived barriers to service integration into OTPs. Survey results were aggregated for descriptive analysis.Results:The survey response rate was 79%, representing 38 out of the 48 OTPs. Among OTPs, 95% serve pregnant and parenting women, 21% have female-specific programs, and together they serve a total of about 5000 women annually. Medical and program directors reported that approximately 53% of women have 1 or more children, and 6.5% are, at present, pregnant. Nearly 90% of programs provide pregnancy testing, but only about 50% provide contraception. Although more than half offer hepatitis C virus (HCV) testing, less than half offer human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing and sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing. Half of the programs provide education about STI prevention and safer sex practices. Most medical and program directors (84%) perceive female patients could benefit from RSH education and more than two-thirds (68%) perceive female patients need increased access to RSH services. Provider-perceived barriers to service integration include lack of facility equipment and supplies, trained staff, and childcare.Conclusions:NC OTPs are a logical setting for integrating RSH services to meet the needs of reproductive-age women in treatment for OUD.

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