Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)


Speech-Language Pathology

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Kerry Proctor-Williams

Committee Members

Brenda Louw, Kimberly Wilson-Lewis


Objective: The primary purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between respiratory status and feeding difficulties in infants with NAS in comparison to full-term infants with no exposure to opioids.

Methods: A group of infants with NAS (262) were compared to a group of full-term infants with no exposure to opioids (279). These groups were further divided into feeding and respiratory groups based on severity. These groups were analyzed for differences in behavior and outcomes.

Results: Infants with NAS are 34.23 times more likely to develop respiratory distress and 111.03 times more likely to develop severe feeding difficulty. For infants with NAS, respiratory and feeding impairment may occur in isolation, suggesting a different withdrawal-based etiology of impairment as compared to premature infants.

Conclusion: This study is unique in its size, scope, and attention to the respiratory factors involved in the feeding outcomes of infants with NAS.

Document Type

Thesis - embargo


Copyright by the authors.

Available for download on Wednesday, April 03, 2024