Main Article Content

Christiane Brems
Rachel V Boschma-Wynn
Sarah L Dewane
Alexandra E Edwards
Rebecca V Robinson


Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, FASD, fetal alcohol syndrome, FAS



Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) are birth defects directly linked to consumption of alcohol during pregnancy and hence completely preventable. Many health and allied health professionals are in prime positions for primary prevention of FASDs through work with women of childbearing age and secondary prevention through work with affected individuals whose lives can be greatly improved via tailored intervention.



To develop educational guidelines for FASD prevention.



Interviews were conducted with 26 individuals representing eight health or allied health professions. Participants were asked about professional groups with which they had sufficient experience to describe FASD-related competencies and educational needs for the given group(s). For each group, participants were asked for their perceptions of group members’ FASD awareness, knowledge, and skills application as related to the seven core competencies for FASD practice developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).



Findings revealed that competence, especially when viewed separately in terms of knowledge versus capacity for application of information, in the area of FASDs is unevenly distributed among and throughout healthcare provider groups.



Based on this information, recommendations are offered for optimal health and allied health education efforts to prevent and treat FASDs, framed along FASD core competencies recommended by the CDC.

Abstract 156 | PDF Downloads 71


1. May PA, Gossage JP. Estimating the prevalence of fetal alcohol syndrome: a summary. Alcohol Res Health 2001;25(3):159- 167.
2. Bertrand J, Floyd RL, Weber MK, et al. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: Guidelines for Referral and Diagnosis: Atlanta GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2004.
3. Harwood HJ, Napolitano, DM. Economic implications of fetal alcohol syndrome. Alcohol Health Res World 1985;10(1):38-43.
4. Lupton C. The Financial Impact of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. SAMHSA Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Center for Excellence, 2003. Available at ost.cfm (August 8, 2009).
5. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Chapter 6: Economic and health services perspectives. In 10th Special Report to the U.S. Congress on Alcohol and Health. NIH Pub No. 00-1583. Bethesda, MD: USA Dept. of Health & Human Services. 2000:364-371.
6. Harwood H, Fountain D, Livermore, G. Chapter 4.4: Special disease groups. In The Economic Costs of Alcohol and Drug Abuse in the United States, 1992. Report prepared for the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH Pub. No. 98-4327. Rockville, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1998.
7. FASD Regional Training Centers Curriculum Development Team. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders competency-based curriculum development guide for medical and allied health education and practice. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2009.
8. Sharpe TT, Alexander M, Hutcherson J, et al. Report from the CDC. Physician and allied health professionals' training and fetal alcohol syndrome. J Women’s Health 2004;13(2):133- 139.
9. Elliott E, Payne J, Haan E, Bower C. Diagnosis of fetal alcohol syndrome and alcohol use in pregnancy: A survey of pediatricians’ knowledge, attitudes, and practice. J Paediatr Child Health 2006; 42:698-703.
10. Tough SC, Clarke M, Hicks M, Clarren S. Attitudes and approaches of Canadian providers to preconception counseling and the prevention of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. J Fetal Alcohol Syndrome 2005;3:1-16.
11. Creswell JW. Qualitative Inquiry & Research Design: Choosing Among Five Approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2007:125.
12. Stake RE. The art of case study research: Perspectives on practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1995.
13. Strauss A, Corbin J. Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1998.
14. Johnson ME, Robinson RV, Corey S, Dewane SL, Brems C, & Casto D. Knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of health, education, and service professionals as related to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. International J Public Health (in press).

Most read articles by the same author(s)