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Title Page The Effects of Comorbidities on the Clinical Care of Women with Substance Use Disorders and the Benefits of a Coordinated Care Approach

Banerji, Krittika (2024) Title Page The Effects of Comorbidities on the Clinical Care of Women with Substance Use Disorders and the Benefits of a Coordinated Care Approach. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Substance use disorders (SUDs) are a major public health issue in the United States, as incidence and severity continue to rise. Individuals with SUDs often face other comorbidities, or co-occurring conditions, such as chronic pain and co-occurring mental illness. The impact of comorbidities on SUD trajectory is particularly pronounced for adults who identify as women. For instance, according to the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Women, 9.5 million women over the age of 18 in the United States had both a SUD and a co-occurring mental illness.  
This thesis explores the effects of comorbidities, or co-occurring conditions, on the clinical care and treatment of women with SUDs. First, this thesis presents an overview of the current literature, including gaps in the literature, on the barriers that exist for the care and treatment of women with SUDs due to co-occurring conditions and the effects of these barriers. Next, this thesis presents the results of an original research study that involved 
semi-structured interviews with eight clinicians who have a professional background in treating women with SUDs. Transcripts from the interviews were analyzed to explore the perceived effects of comorbidities on the clinical care and treatment of women with SUDs, including barriers to treatment. Themes related to how a coordinated care approach and integrated treatment could benefit the health of this population were also explored as part of the analysis. Qualitative analysis revealed four overarching themes related to barriers that clinicians perceived women with SUD to face; these ranged from individual to organizational and policy-related factors. Results from this thesis are important for public health in that they can inform research and practice related to the unique needs of women with SUDs and co-occurring conditions. For example, results from the research study in the context of the literature review suggest that funding for social support programs or the creation of more informed policies surrounding the prescription of opioids could greatly benefit this population. In identifying future areas for research and practice, this thesis also aims to promote awareness and acceptance of women with SUDs and co-occurring conditions.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Banerji, Krittikakrb149@pitt.edukrb149
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairSidani, Jaimejaime.sidani@pitt.edujes107
Committee MemberHoffman, Bethbeth.hoffman@pitt.edublh71
Committee MemberHershey, Tina Batratbh16@pitt.edutbh16
Date: 17 May 2024
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 9 May 2024
Approval Date: 17 May 2024
Submission Date: 14 May 2024
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 68
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: substance use disorder, co-occurring conditions, comorbidities, women, barriers to care, coordinated care
Date Deposited: 17 May 2024 17:07
Last Modified: 17 May 2024 17:07


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