AddictologyIssue 4/2023
Scientific article
Publication Date
Published by / Citation
Koutská, K. O. (2023). Neonatal abstinence syndrome and its specifics at temporary foster care institution in the Czech Republic. Study Protocol. Adiktologie, 23(4), 319–324.
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Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome and its Specifics at Temporary Foster Care Institution in the Czech Republic: Study Protocol

INTRODUCTION: Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) is a condition unique to a newborn that results from the abrupt cessation of chronic intrauterine drug exposure following birth. Slightly persistent, late onsetting, or slowly fading-out symptoms’ manifestation may take weeks or months. In case the infant is not kept in the biological family, one possible subsequent placement after discharge from hospital in the Czech Republic is a Temporary Foster Care Institution called Pěstounská péče na přechodnou dobu (TFCI). It is unclear what knowledge, education, and experience TFCI caregivers have in NAS infant care so far. The monitoring of persistent symptoms of NAS in the specific environment of foster care has not been realised yet. This is the first time the Finnegan Neonatal Abstinence Scoring Tool (FNAST) tool will be used for NAS symptoms monitoring in the TFCI environment.

METHODS: Preliminary study of NAS incidence from Czech national health registers will be followed by a main study divided into two parts. First part is designed as a cross-sectional questionnaire survey investigating TFCI caregivers’ awareness, knowledge, and experience with NAS infants in their practice. The second part of the study is designed as an observational longitudinal survey on a set of respondents: TFCI caregivers exclusively giving care to NAS diagnosed infants following late-onset / late fading out NAS symptoms using the FNAST scoring system.

DISCUSSION: Based on the results from the longitudinal survey, it should be clarified whether the late symptoms of NAS persist and in what intensity in the TFCI environment and whether the FNAST tool is suitable for their monitoring, or whether it needs to be modified for the purposes of fostering practice. It is expected to not only help to understand the symptoms of NAS but also contribute to facilitating communication between TFCI caregivers and health care professionals (HCP) throughout the trajectory of providing care for NAS diagnosed infants.

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