Contingency Management Interventions for Tobacco and Other Substance Use Disorders in Pregnancy

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Contingency management (CM) is an effective intervention for reducing use of licit and illicit substances in a variety of populations. Pregnant women are a vulnerable population with much to gain from effective interventions for substance use disorders, and for whom CM interventions may be especially well-suited. We reviewed the literature on CM interventions among pregnant women with tobacco and other substance use disorders with 3 aims: (a) describe the effectiveness of CM for reducing use of tobacco and other substances during pregnancy, (b) describe the effects of CM interventions on infant outcomes, and (c) identify needs for future research on CM in pregnancy. Our search strategy revealed 27 primary studies of CM in pregnancy. CM was effective in the majority of studies targeting nicotine abstinence, and results were mixed in studies targeting illicit substances. A variety of methodologies were used within the relatively small number of studies making it difficult to identify underlying mechanisms. Also, very few studies reported maternal and infant outcomes, and significant effects of CM were only apparent when secondary analyses pooled data from multiple studies. Furthermore, there is extremely limited data on the cost effectiveness of CM interventions in pregnancy. Future research should address these 3 areas to better determine the ultimate value of CM as an efficacious treatment for pregnant women with substance use disorders.

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