College Students' Knowledge About Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

Main Article Content

Christiane Brems
Mark E Johnson
Jesse S Metzger
Sarah L Dewane

Keywords

Alcohol, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, fetal alcohol syndrome

Abstract

Background


Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder s (FASD s ) are the leading known preventable birth defects in North America. Knowledge surveys about FASD have been conducted with various health and allied healthcare providers and have proven useful in identifying gaps in knowledge and differences among provider groups to support prevention efforts. To date, no research has been conducted exploring FASD knowledge among college students.


Objective


This study explored FASD knowl edge in a sample of college students, a group at particularly high risk for alcohol - exposed pregnancies. Findings are compared to professionals in several healthcare and affiliated professional groups who were previously surveyed with the same FASD - related items.


Methods


Surveys from 1,035 college students at a northwestern university were analyzed. Included with the ACHA - National College Health Assessment II were questions regarding FASD. C ollege students’ knowledge was compared with that of professional s in key healthcare and affiliated positions to define their relative awareness of FASD risk . Results Overall, findings revealed adequate FASD knowledge among college students. Although minor differences emerged when comparing students and professionals’ responses, most respondent groups answered with an 85% accuracy rate or higher.


Conclusion


College students demonstrated adequate knowledgeable about FASD. Future research must explore whether such knowledge translates into lower risk behavior and cons equent reduction in alcohol - exposed pregnancies.

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