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J Perinatol. 2005 Jun;25(6):368-74.

The 4P's Plus screen for substance use in pregnancy: clinical application and outcomes.

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Children's Research Triangle, Chicago, IL 60601, USA.



Determine the prevalence of substance use among pregnant women in five diverse communities utilizing the 4P's Plus screen for alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use.


Pregnant women enrolled in prenatal care clinics in five communities were screened for substance use with the 4P's Plus. Those women with a positive screen underwent an assessment for substance use through a follow-up structured clinical interview conducted at the same prenatal visit.


Among 7818 women in five communities, 2555 (32.7%) had a positive screen for substance use in pregnancy. Four of the communities conducted a follow-up assessment on all women with a positive screen (n = 1548). Among these women, 717 (15% of the total population) had continued use after learning of the pregnancy. Overall, 21% of the pregnant women used alcohol prior to recognition of the pregnancy, and 11% continued use after knowledge of the pregnancy. Among the 512 women who continued to use alcohol, 2% were drinking daily, 7% were drinking 3 to 6 days per week, 27% were drinking 1 to 2 days per week, and 63% were drinking less than 1 day per week. The rates of marijuana use and other illicit drug use among the women were 7 and 2%, respectively, prior to knowledge of pregnancy and dropped to 3 and 1% after learning of the pregnancy.


The 4P's Plus identifies not only those pregnant women whose drinking or drug use is at a high enough level to impair daily functioning, but provides an opportunity for early intervention for the much larger group of women whose pregnancies are at risk from relatively small amounts of substance use.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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