Project Director

Guinn, Cherry

Department Examiner

Thul, Susan; Holcombe, Jenny


Dept. of Nursing


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


The implications of methamphetamine use are vast and prevalent in the U.S. This epidemic is also well recognized in Tennessee and in Hamilton County. The number of men and women that continue to use methamphetamine speaks to the importance of this issue. Among these individuals, pregnant women comprise a significant portion of female methamphetamine users across the United States. The potential complications that can arise for not only a mother but also her child due to maternal methamphetamine use pose a much more significant issue. The detrimental effects that a child can experience as a result of maternal methamphetamine use during pregnancy can potentially lead to ramifications that remain with the child throughout the duration of its life. A methamphetamine using woman should be aware of the negative complications that methamphetamine use may have on her and her child, both in utero and long term. The purpose of this study was to provide educational content on methamphetamine, the general effects of methamphetamine use, and the effects of perinatal methamphetamine use on maternal and child outcomes. Since limited knowledge on this topic is currently made available to nursing students, this project took a unique approach to enhancing the practice of nurses by educating nursing students so that they are better equipped to recognize methamphetamine users in the clinical arena and to increase awareness and knowledge through education in order to increase prevention and reduce the rate of disease. PRE/POST surveys were used to assess level of knowledge prior to and following an educational presentation of methamphetamine content. Teaching was performed through the use of a standardized patient role scenario and electronic Prezi presentation. At the conclusion of the study, a comparison of the PRE/POST data illustrated an apparent knowledge deficit regarding the effects of perinatal methamphetamine on maternal and child outcomes among the third level nursing students enrolled in the maternal-childbearing course. Results from the quantitative data indicated a significant increase in student knowledge from PRE to POST test (t (33) = -16.94, p < .001, d = 3.66). Qualitative data reflected in the students’ written responses showed that information acquired from the study is anticipated to be used in future clinical practice. Four major themes emerged from the qualitative data: (1) teaching others, (2) identification of drug use, (3) patient care, and (4) overall presentation benefit. The increased ability to demonstrate these major themes as a result of increased knowledge will subsequently enhance the students’ practices as nurses. This was expressed through the student’s reflection statements. From the data, it is evident that the students displayed a statistically significant increase in knowledge and awareness that has the potential to positively influence their professional nursing practices. This project is the first of many steps that will hopefully be taken in the future to combat the problem surrounding methamphetamine use. Continuous education through the use of additional teaching strategies may continue to enhance student knowledge in other settings outside the medical arena and among larger populations. Continued education can potentially reduce the incidence and prevalence of methamphetamine.


UTC Departmental Examining Committee Dr. Cherry Guinn, EdD, RN (Project Director) Dr. Jenny Holcombe, PhD (Department Examiner) Dr. Susan Thul, DNP, APN, CNM (Department Examiner) Mr. Mike Bell (Liaison, Departmental Honors Committee) UTC School of Nursing UTC Brock Scholars Program Tennessee Meth & Pharmaceutical Task Force

IRB Number



B. S.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Science.




Methamphetamine abuse; Drug abuse in pregnancy


Effects; Methamphetamine; Pregnancy; Education; Baccalaureate; Students



Document Type



v, 114 leaves







Included in

Nursing Commons