Past Attendees Biography

Angela O’Connor

King Edward Memorial Hospital, Australia


Title: Developmental outcomes following prenatal exposure to methamphetamine: A west Australian perspective
Angela O’Connor PHD, Dr Carly Seeber, Dr Emma Harris, Dr Dale Hamilton, Prof Colleen Fisher, Prof Mark Sachmann
King Edward Memorial Hospital, Australia
University of Western Australia, Australia
Aim: To determine infant developmental attainment following prenatal exposure to methamphetamine in a Western Australian setting. 
Methods: From July 2015-December 2016 any women referred to the Western Australian Women and Newborn Drug and Alcohol service (WANDAS) were approached to consent for inclusion into the study. Details of pregnancy, birth and the neonatal period was recorded. Ages and Stages questionnaires (ASQ) were performed at 4 and 12 months and infant development was assessed around 12 months of age using the Griffiths Mental Development Scales (GMDS). 
Results: Out of the 220 women referred to WANDAS, 115 consented to take part in the study that identified methamphetamine as their primary drug of choice. Of 110 live born infants 89 Ages and Stages Questionnaires were completed by caregivers at 4 months and 78 completed the 12 months questionnaire. 64 of the infants returned for Griffith’s developmental assessment. The infants scored below-expected across all domains of the Griffiths’ assessment, with a mean General Quotient (GQ) of 92.7.The 4 month ASQ had a very weak correlation with the GMDS (r=0.08) however at 12 months the ASQ there was moderate correlation with GMDS (r=0.49).
Interpretation: Infants born to women using methamphetamine are at risk of developmental delay.
Audience Take Away:
  • Infants born after antenatal methamphetamine exposure are at risk of developmental delay.
  • The ASQ was not shown to be a useful tool for prediction of developmental delay.


Angela O’Connor (RN, RM, Bsc Bus, Post Grad Social Science, Masters of Nursing, Current PHD student). She is the Clinical Midwifery Consultant Midwifery Manager of the Women and Newborn Drug and Alcohol Service (WANDAS). Angela has a varied career which spans over 34 years experience in health. She has held various senior management and clinical roles in both Public and Private Hospitals in Australia and overseas. She completed her training in Nursing and Midwifery in Ireland and worked in the field for 3 years prior to migrating to Perth Western Australia in 1988. Angela holds a Business Degree with a major in Management and leadership and a minor in Psychology. She completed a Post Graduate Degree in Social Science and completed her Masters in Nursing 2011 at Curtin University. She is currently enrolled at UWA, completing her PHD in the area of Drug and Alcohol.

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