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The Alcohol and pregnancy project, conducted by the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research from 2006 to 2008, provided educational resources for Western Australian (WA) health professionals to inform them about the prevention of prenatal alcohol exposure and Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD).
Studies conducted in WA in 2002 and 2004 showed that WA health professionals were poorly informed about alcohol consumption in pregnancy and Fetal alcohols syndrome (FAS). The majority of these health professionals requested educational resources for themselves and information to give to clients. These results led to the formation of the Alcohol and pregnancy project.
In 2007, the educational resources were developed and distributed to 3,348 health professionals (Aboriginal health workers, allied health professionals, community nurses, general practitioners and obstetricians), and to 159 paediatricians. Six months later 1,483 health professionals and 133 paediatricians were surveyed. Health professionals' responses were compared with results from 2002 and paediatricians' with results from 2004 using prevalence rate ratios and 95% confidence intervals.
Following the distribution of the educational resources to WA health professionals, the project demonstrated some improvement in their knowledge, attitudes and practice in relation to alcohol consumption in pregnancy and FAS. The project also demonstrated that consumer and community participation made a difference to the research and participation was valued by community and consumer representatives and researchers. Project management was comprehensively endorsed by researchers and contributed substantially to the research and benefited both management and scientific outcomes.
Abstract adapted from Telethon Institute for Child Health Research
Telethon Institute for Child Health Research
100 Roberts Road
Subiaco WA 6008
PO Box 855
West Perth WA 6872
Ph: (08) 9489 7777
Fax: (08) 9489 7700