Publications

Substance Use Treatment Patient and Provider Perspectives on Accessing Sexual and Reproductive Health Services: Barriers, Facilitators, and the Need for Integration of Care

Background: Women with substance use disorders have high rates of adverse sexual and reproductive health (SRH) outcomes, including unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, and contraceptive nonuse. Little research has explored barriers and facilitators to accessing SRH services experienced by women with substance use disorders. Objectives: To investigate barriers and facilitators to accessing SRH services experienced by women with substance use disorders. To assess perspectives on integration of SRH services into substance use treatment. Methods: Twenty-nine semi-structured interviews were conducted with female patients (N = 17) and providers (N = 12) at four substance use treatment facilities in Michigan between October 2015 and January 2016. Respondents were asked about experiences accessing SRH services and perspectives on integration of SRH services into substance use treatment. Data were analyzed using the constant comparative method. Results: Patients and providers discussed barriers to accessing SRH services, including competing priorities, structural barriers, lack of knowledge on SRH services and substance use, fear of Child Protective Services and law enforcement, and stigma. Facilitators included reprioritization of SRH, accessible transportation, insurance coverage and funding for SRH services, and education and training on SRH. Finally, participants expressed support for integration of SRH services into substance use treatment. Conclusions/Importance: Understanding the barriers to accessing SRH services is essential to reducing the adverse SRH outcomes experienced by women with substance use disorders. Substance use treatment is a critical time to offer SRH services. Integration of care is a potential model for improving the SRH of women with substance use disorders.