Olivia Frank, Malia S. Q Murphy, Robert Talarico, Kathryn M. Denize, Carlie Boisvert, Alysha L. J Dingwall Harvey, Ruth Rennicks White, Daniel J Corsi, Kari Sampsel, Shi Wu Wen, Mark C. Walker, Darine El-Chaâr & Katherine A. Muldoon (2023) The COVID-19 pandemic and parental substance use: a cross-sectional survey of substance use among pregnant and post-partum individuals and their partners, Journal of Substance Use, DOI: 10.1080/14659891.2023.2183148
This study was designed to investigate patterns and risk factors for substance use among obstetrical patients who gave birth during the early period of the pandemic, and their partners.
Cross-sectional survey of obstetrical patients between March 17th and June 16th, 2020, at The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, Canada. Substance use was a composite measure of any alcohol, tobacco, or cannabis use since COVID-19 began. Four outcomes included: any participant substance use or increase in substance use, any partner substance use or increase in substance use. Adjusted risk ratios (ARR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) are presented.
Of 216 participants, 113 (52.3%) and 15 (6.9%) obstetrical patients reported substance use and increased use, respectively. Those born in Canada (ARR: 2.03; 95% CI: 1.27–3.23) and those with lower household income (ARR: 1.38; 95% CI: 1.04–1.85) had higher risk of substance use. Those with postpartum depression (ARR: 5.78; 95%CI: 2.22–15.05) had the highest risk of increased substance use. Families affected by school/daycare closure reported a higher risk of increased partner substance use (ARR: 2.46; 95% CI:1.38–4.39).
This study found that risk factors for substance use included demographics (i.e., being born in Canada, income), mental health (postpartum depression), and school/childcare closures.