Opioid dependence during pregnancy: Relationships of anxiety and depression symptoms to treatment outcomes

Margaret M. Benningfield, Mary S. Dietrich, Hendrée E. Jones, Karol Kaltenbach, Sarah H. Heil, Susan M. Stine, Mara G. Coyle, Amelia M. Arria, Kevin E. O'Grady, Gabriele Fischer, Peter R. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: To examine the relationship of anxiety and depression symptoms with treatment outcomes (treatment discontinuation, rates of ongoing use of illicit drugs and likelihood of preterm delivery) in opioid-dependent pregnant women and describe their use of psychotropic medications. Design and setting: Secondary data analysis from a randomized clinical trial of treatment for opioid dependence during pregnancy. Participants: A total of 175 opioid-dependent pregnant women, of whom 131 completed treatment. Measurements: Symptoms of anxiety and depression were captured with the 15-item Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI) screen. Use of illicit drugs was measured by urine drug screening. Preterm delivery was defined as delivery prior to 37 weeks' gestation. Self-reported use of concomitant psychotropic medication at any point during the study was recorded. Findings: Women reporting only anxiety symptoms at study entry were more likely to discontinue treatment [adjusted odds ratio (OR)=4.56, 95% confidence interval (CI):1.91-13.26, P=0.012], while those reporting only depression symptoms were less likely to discontinue treatment (adjusted OR=0.14, 95% CI:0.20-0.88, P=0.036) compared to women who reported neither depression nor anxiety symptoms. No statistically significant between-group differences were observed for ongoing illicit drug use or preterm delivery. A majority (61.4%) of women reported use of concomitant psychotropic medication at some point during study participation. Conclusions: Opioid agonist-treated pregnant patients with co-occurring symptoms of anxiety require additional clinical resources to prevent premature discontinuation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-82
Number of pages9
Issue numberSUPPL.1
StatePublished - Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Anxiety
  • Buprenorphine
  • Depression
  • Methadone
  • Opioid-dependence
  • Outcomes
  • Pregnancy
  • Treatment-retention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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