To use a scoping review to explore the existing literature on best practice guidelines for safe, dignified, and compassionate care in the labor and birth setting for pregnant women who use methamphetamines.
We conducted a systematic search for articles and best practice guidelines from health-related databases (MEDLINE; CINAHL; and the Web of Science, including the Core Collection and Social Science Citation Index, PsycInfo, Women’s Studies International, and Sociological Abstracts) and gray literature. Search terms included substance use disorder, methamphetamine, childbirth, and labor and delivery.
We included English-language, peer-reviewed reports of primary research, systematic reviews, and practice guidelines from credible databases and organizations published between 1991 and 2020. We screened 1,297 resources and agreed to review 156 articles and 16 gray literature resources in the full-text analysis. Nine of the 156 articles and 16 gray literature resources met the inclusion criteria.
We used the Joanna Briggs Institute review guidelines (2015) criteria for extraction of the following data: author(s); year of publication; type of study; objectives; country of origin; study population and sample size (if applicable); inclusion of best practice guidelines for the labor and birth setting; care approaches specific to safety, dignity, compassion; and the targeted substance(s) discussed (e.g., methamphetamine, opioids, etc.). We further documented the phenomena of interest to determine if articles or best practice guidelines included safe, dignified, and compassionate care approaches specific to pregnant women who use methamphetamine.
We summarized the best practice guidelines, which included universal screening, assessment, and management of analgesia during labor, as well as broad guidance regarding the inclusion of a multidisciplinary health care team. Safe, dignified, and compassionate care approaches were focused on communication, shared decision making, and the provision of nonjudgmental care. Although evidence about substance use during the childbearing years is increasing, stronger evidence for clinical care approaches in the labor and birth setting is needed, inclusive of all stakeholder perspectives.
The articles and best practice guidelines reviewed provided broad clinical recommendations that were applicable to pregnant women who use methamphetamine. However, we did not find a complete comprehensive best practice guideline for labor and birth that was specific, was solution focused, and delineated a safe, dignified, and compassionate care approach.