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Empowering Pregnant Mothers with Opioid Use Disorders to Create and Implement a Plan of Safe Care for their Infants Using Technology

Funding Source

Dartmouth Synergy 2017 Community Engagement Research Pilot Project Funding

Project Period

5/1/17 - 10/31/18

Principal Investigator

Sarah Lord, PhD; Daisy Goodman, CNM, DNP, MPH

Other Project Staff

Jennifer Williams, LPN (Co-I); Mary Kay Jankowski, PhD (Co-I)


Habit OPCO, West Lebanon, NH
Groups, West Lebanon, NH

Project Summary

An estimated 8% of deliveries in northern New England are affected by perinatal opioid use. Child Protective Services requires a Plan of Safe Care (PSC) for all pregnant women with identified substance use disorders (SUDs), but these plans can be unclear about expectations. Most rural pregnant and parenting mothers with SUD have access to computers and mobile technologies. Past research has supported the use of digital approaches to support recovery from SUD and encourage self-care. The use of digital approaches to facilitate recovery support for pregnant women with opioid use disorder (OUD) is largely uninvestigated. This project will involve women with OUD and other care stakeholders in the adaptation of a digital platform to empower mothers to develop a PSC for their infant children. Specific aims include: (1) identify areas of need to guide the development of the MySafePlan application, (2) adapt an existing digital application to address identified needs for the MySafePlan application, and (3) evaluate the initial feasibility and acceptability of MySafePlan with clients and other stakeholders. We hypothesize that use of MySafePlan will result in improvements in mothers’ engagement in maternal self-care, preparation for parenting, perceived stress, and parenting self-efficacy. MySafePlan has the potential to improve outcomes for mothers with OUD and their children.

Public Health Relevance

MySafePlan has the potential to change traditional approaches to supporting pregnant and parenting women with OUD.