Degree Name

DrPH (Doctor of Public Health)


Public Health

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

David A. Shoham

Committee Members

Megan Quinn, Kate Beatty, Darshan Shah


Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) is a drug withdrawal syndrome exhibited by infants born to mothers with opioid use disorder (OUD). The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and other professional societies endorse opioid agonist pharmacotherapy (MATs) as the optimal treatment for OUD during pregnancy. This study focuses on impact of weaning of MAT drugs on the incidence of NAS and neonatal birth outcomes among babies born to women with opioid exposure.

The study population included eighty-six pregnant women with OUD, divided in to weaning and non-weaning groups based on their choice to wean the MATs during pregnancy. Univariate analysis was performed between the clinical and demographic variables of both groups. Multivariate analysis was performed to find the association between outcome variables and predictor variables. All analyses were conducted using SAS version 9.4.

The study identified a significant negative correlation (p-value: 0.0099) between weaning from MATs and NAS incidence. The study showed significant correlations of weaning with shorter LOS (p-value: 0.0036) and higher birth weights (p-value: 0.0408). Weaning emerged as a significant predictor for decreasing the incidence of NAS and improving the neonatal outcomes. Logistic regression confirmed weaning as a protective factor (odds ratio: 4.881 CI: 1.3, 18.1).

The intricacies of weaning of MATs in the context of OUD during pregnancy present profound health and ethical considerations for both mothers and infants. The investigation into NAS incidence among infants born to women with OUD revealed a significant association with weaning from MATs during pregnancy. The study highlights the potential benefits of weaning, offering insights into optimized neonatal care and efficient healthcare resource utilization.

Document Type

Dissertation - embargo


Copyright by the authors.

Available for download on Sunday, June 15, 2025