NWH: Nurses’ Descriptions of Interactions When Caring for Women With Perinatal Substance Use Disorders and Their Infants


The purpose of this review is to describe health care interactions between nurses and women with perinatal substance use disorders, including interactions with their infants from the perspective of the nurses. Findings from 11 qualitative inclusion articles were synthesized using a metasummary approach. The majority of articles showed that nurses experience problematic interactions when providing care to women with perinatal substance use disorders and their infants, although some results indicated that some nurses engage in interactions that are assuring. Six types of conflictual interactions were identified: inadequate care, distressing, condemning, deficient knowledge, rejecting, and dissatisfying. Two types of therapeutic interactions were identified: compassionate and supportive. The findings underscore the importance of managing stigma, enhancing knowledge of the science of addiction processes, and promoting best practices when caring for this population.