Yale granted $5M to research telemedicine, pregnant women with opioid addiction

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute awarded $5 million to New Haven, Conn.-based Yale University School of Medicine to research telemedicine training measures for providers who treat pregnant women with opioid use disorders.

In the past 15 years, the chance of a pregnant woman suffering from an OUD has increased by more than 300 percent, according to the report. With the PCORI grant, Yale researchers aim to develop a training method that allows obstetricians and nurses to provide both prenatal care and addiction treatment for pregnant and postpartum women with OUDs.

The study will comprise 12 obstetrical centers and 480 women participants. The medical centers will be divided evenly between receiving OUD and prenatal training onsite only or via video-conferencing only. The onsite-training facilities would have access to a care manager, who helps women handle issues with prenatal care visits, provides recovery coaching and measures emotional symptoms and substance misuse. Facilities with only telemedicine abilities will have video conference classes to educate, train and assist physicians and nurses providing prenatal care for women with OUDs.

Researchers plan to analyze the results of the study to determine differences between women who received care at the onsite-supported and telemedicine-supported facilities. Researchers will also observe differences in birth complications, such as early baby delivery rates.

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