Measurement of neonatal abstinence syndrome: Evaluation of short forms

Hendrée E. Jones, Carl Seashore, Elisabeth Johnson, Evette Horton, Kevin E. O'Grady, Kim Andringa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: 1) How well do the short forms previously developed from the Maternal Opioid Treatment: Human Experimental Research (MOTHER) neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) scale (MNS) discriminate between neonates untreated and treated for NAS? (2) Can a short form be developed that is superior to other short forms in discriminating between the two groups? Design/participants: This secondary analysis study used data from 131 delivered neonates in the MOTHER study, a randomized controlled trial comparing neonatal and maternal outcomes in opioid-dependent pregnant women administered buprenorphine or methadone. Setting: Comprehensive care was provided at seven university hospitals. Outcome measures: A 19-item instrument measuring neonatal abstinence signs. Results: A five-item index proved superior to the previous indices (ps<0.01) and discriminated between the treated and untreated NAS groups as well as did the MNS total score (p=0.09). Conclusions: A short form developed from the MNS shows promise as a possible screening measure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-23
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of opioid management
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • MOTHER NAS scale
  • Neonatal abstinence syndrome
  • Opioid use disorder
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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