Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) results from discontinuation of in utero exposures to opioids/substances. The rising incidence of NAS has prompted an increased need for accurate research and public health data. To examine how NAS has been defined in clinical studies of opioid-exposed mothers and infants, a review process was developed based on the RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method, yielding 888 abstracts. Per inclusion criteria, 57 abstracts underwent full-text review. To define NAS, studies cited using modified versions of the Finnegan NAS scoring tool (n = 21; 37%), ICD-9/10 coding (n = 17; 30%), original Finnegan tool (n = 16; 28%), Eat Sleep Console (n = 3; 5%), and Lipsitz (n = 3; 5%) tools, (3 cited 2+ tools). Most studies utilized subjective NAS scoring/assessment algorithms and neonatal coding as key elements defining NAS. While most cited opioid exposure as integral to their inclusion criteria, 26% did not. These approaches highlight the need for a more refined and standardized definition of NAS.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology