Psychometric assessment of the Neonatal Abstinence Scoring System and the MOTHER NAS Scale

Hendrée E. Jones, Carl Seashore, Elisabeth Johnson, Evette Horton, Kevin E. O'Grady, Kim Andringa, Matthew R. Grossman, Bonny Whalen, Alison Volpe Holmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives: The present study examined the psychometric characteristics of the Neonatal Abstinence Scoring System (NASS; “Finnegan Scale”) and the MOTHER NAS Scale (MNS). Methods: Secondary analysis of data from 131 neonates from the Maternal Opioid Treatment: Human Experimental Research (MOTHER) study, a randomized trial in opioid-dependent pregnant women administered buprenorphine or methadone. Results: Both the NASS and MNS demonstrated poor psychometric properties, with internal consistency (Cronbach's αs) failing to exceed.62 at first administration, peak NAS score, and NAS treatment initiation. Conclusions: Findings support the need for development of a NAS measure based on sound psychometric principles. Scientific Significance: This study found that two frequently used measures of neonatal abstinence syndrome suffer inadequacies in regard to their basic measurement characteristics. (Am J Addict 2016;25:370–373).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)370-373
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal on Addictions
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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