Defense Date


Graduation Date

Spring 5-11-2018


One-year Embargo

Submission Type


Degree Name





School of Nursing

Committee Chair

Rebecca Kronk

Committee Member

Kathleen Sekula

Committee Member

Diane Abatemarco


mindfulness, depression, maternal child nursing, social determinants


BACKGROUND: Mothers in treatment for an opioid use disorder experience a high prevalence of depression which may influence their relationship with their child. In the general population, mindfulness-based parenting intervention has been seen in the literature to have a clear positive effect on maternal depression. No research has been published regarding the effect of mindfulness intervention on maternal depression of women in treatment for an opioid use disorder.

OBJECTIVES: To describe the characteristics of mothers in treatment for opioid use disorder, including depression and adverse childhood experiences, and to evaluate the characteristics associated with participation in a mindfulness intervention. Lastly, the effect of the mindfulness intervention on the depression symptoms of mothers enrolled in treatment is subsequently evaluated.

METHODS: A secondary data analysis of a quasi-experimental trial of a mindfulness intervention implemented at a medication assisted treatment center for 175 pregnant and parenting mothers was accomplished to describe characteristics of the women and evaluate the effect of the intervention on depression symptoms.

RESULTS: Depression was prevalent among the women surveyed, with over 45% of women scoring with moderate to severe depression symptoms. Women were more likely to select the mindfulness intervention group over the control group if they were not pregnant (OR .402; 95% CI [.64-1.759]), had more than one child (OR 1.061; 95% CI [.64-1.759]), or were unemployed (OR .236; 95% CI [.068-.813]). In terms of the effect of the intervention, there was a significant decrease in scores (M=-3.6 [1.2,6.1]) for the intervention group (n=65) comparing pre versus post intervention depression scores (t(64)=3.1, p=.003). Those who entered the study with low to mild depression scores and went on to enter the intervention experienced less of a difference (M=.47, SD=15.2) in depression scores than those who entered the study with moderate to severe depression scores (M=-6.6, SD = 13.5), (t(64)=-2.1, p<.05).

CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study indicate that a mindfulness approach to behavioral interventions are feasible and may be effective in addressing depression outcomes in MAT populations of parenting women. A multifaceted approach to treatment should address past trauma, current social determinants and incorporate behavioral interventions which benefit the woman in MAT and her child.



Additional Citations

Alexander, K. (2018). Integrative Review of the Relationship Between Mindfulness-Based Parenting Interventions and Depression Symptoms in Parents. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing, 47(2), 184-190.