Main Article Content
Background and Objective
Prenatal alcohol exposure is a common preventable cause of intellectual disability, but alcohol use
remains high during pregnancy. We identified where Australian women obtained information about alcohol during pregnancy, their preferred sources of information, and their perceptions of the role of health professionals in providing information.
Materials and Methods
In 2006, 1103 nonpregnant Australian women of childbearing age (18–45 years) were interviewed using computer-assisted telephone interview. Information about their actual and preferred sources of information about consuming alcohol during pregnancy and the perceived role of health professionals in pregnancy education were obtained.
Most (99%) of the Australian women interviewed said information about the effects of consuming alcohol during pregnancy should be readily available, but only half had sighted any such information. Brochures were the most-sighted source (16%), followed by media programs/articles (13%). Women preferred health professionals (52%) as the best source of information, followed by television advertisements (12%). Health professional platforms (e.g., antenatal classes) were preferred by women who had previously given birth, while the Internet was preferred by nulliparous and Australian-born women. Message recall was associated with knowledge that alcohol consumption during pregnancy can cause fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, growth problems, and lifelong disabilities in a child (P < 0.05). Women agreed that health professionals should ask pregnant women about alcohol, advise how much alcohol consumption is safe during pregnancy, and advise pregnant women or those planning pregnancy to give up alcohol consumption.
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