” The Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Prevention and Health Promotion Resources Package – ‘the Package’
Is designed to equip Australian health professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to develop, implement and evaluate community-driven solutions to reduce alcohol consumption, tobacco smoking and substance misuse during pregnancy, and to cut down on the number of unplanned pregnancies in their communities.
During 2015–17, the Package was delivered to staff from participating New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services (NDMBS), a national program to increase access to child and maternal health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.”
Download the 4 Page brochure
Why are these resources needed?
Although high rates of alcohol consumption have been reported across all Australian populations, research shows that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are more likely to consume alcohol at harmful levels during pregnancy, thereby greatly increasing the risk of stillbirths, infant mortality and infants born with an intellectual disability.
Addressing the effects of alcohol consumption during pregnancy, and in particular FASD, requires both an understanding of how the cultural context, historical legacy and social determinants affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and the importance of working in partnership with communities and relevant organisations.
When surveyed, most health professionals reported they did not ask their clients about alcohol use in pregnancy, or provide women with information about the effects of alcohol on the fetus.2 Challenges included limited knowledge and resources among health professionals to tackle the issue, along with a lack of confidence in advising clients. As such, we determined that resourcing and educating health professionals were critical factors to implementing a whole-of-community approach to preventing FASD in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Piloting the Package
We piloted two days of training with 80 health professionals from 40 participating NDMBS sites, with the aim of increasing:
- awareness and understanding of alcohol, tobacco and other substances use during pregnancy and of FASD
- awareness of existing FASD health promotion resources and of how best to use these resources within primary health care services in line with their community needs
- knowledge and skills to develop, implement and evaluate community-driven solutions to reduce alcohol consumption, tobacco smoking and substance misuse during pregnancy, and reduce unplanned pregnancies
What’s in the Package?
Health promotion resources targeted at five key groups:
- Pregnant women
- Women of child-bearing age
- Grandmothers and aunties
- Health professionals
Five discrete training modules to assist health professionals share FASD prevention information and use the resources effectively within their community:
- Introduction: FASD Prevention and Health Promotion Resources Package
- Module 1: What is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder?
- Module 2: Brief Intervention and Motivational Interviewing
- Module 3: Monitoring and Evaluation
- Module 4: Sharing Health Information
Training support materials to assist health professionals in delivering their own FASD training:
- Facilitator manual
- Participant workbook
Download the 4 Page brochure
For more information
Dr Christine Hannah 07 3169 4201