Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Mary L. Held
Courtney Cronley, Patricia M. Bamwine, Sandra P. Thomas
Mothers who have Opioid Use Disorders and their infants are routinely served by medical systems across the United States. Trauma-informed care (TIC) has gained in reputation and been recommended for implementation in medical settings including those that serve these mother-infant dyads such as Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) settings. The experiences of these mother-infant dyads in health care settings and the experience of health care providers caring for these mother-infant dyads have not been thoroughly investigated. This dissertation targets the need for these data and is comprised of three studies. Study One is a systematic review of the research literature exploring the prevalence of trauma experiences for mothers with opioid use disorders (OUDs), and the state of TIC and services in medical settings that serve pregnant women and mothers with young children who have OUDs, examining both mothers’ experiences and providers’ reports. Study Two analyzes trauma-informed beliefs and perspectives, previous training, practice behaviors, and self-efficacy of NICU nurses and social workers who work with mother-infant dyads impacted by in utero opioid/opiate exposure using a cross-sectional anonymous online survey. Study Three qualitatively explores the lived experiences of NICU nurses and social workers providing TIC to mother-infant dyads impacted by in utero opioid exposure. Implications for social work and future directions are identified at the end of each study.
Cain, Shannon Patrick Mee, "An Examination of Trauma-Informed Care in Medical Settings that Serve Mothers with Opioid Use Disorders & their Infants. " PhD diss., University of Tennessee, 2023.
Available for download on Friday, May 15, 2026