'If you can have one glass of wine now and then, why are you denying that to a woman with no evidence’: knowledge and practices of health professionals concerning alcohol consumption during pregnancy

Crawford-Williams, Fiona and Steen, Mary and Esterman, Adrian and Fielder, Andrea and Mikocka-Walus, Antonina (2015) 'If you can have one glass of wine now and then, why are you denying that to a woman with no evidence’: knowledge and practices of health professionals concerning alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Women and Birth, 28 (4). pp. 329-335. ISSN 1871-5192

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Abstract

Background: Alcohol consumption during pregnancy has the potential to cause significant harm to the foetus and the current Australian guidelines state that it is safest not to drink alcohol while pregnant. However, conflicting messages often appear in the media and it is unclear if the message to avoid alcohol is being effectively conveyed to pregnant women.
Aims: This research aims to explore the advice that health professionals provide to pregnant women about alcohol consumption; the knowledge of health professionals regarding the effects of alcohol
consumption; and their consistency with following the Australian guidelines.
Methods: Ten semi-structured face to face interviews were conducted with health professionals who regularly provide antenatal care. These include midwives, obstetricians, and shared care general practitioners. A six-stage thematic analysis framework was used to analyse the interview data in a systematic way to ensure rigour and transparency. The analysis involved coding data extracts, followed by identifying the major themes.
Findings: Health professionals displayed adequate knowledge that alcohol can cause physical and mental difficulties that are lifelong; however, knowledge of the term FASD and the broad spectrum of difficulties associated with alcohol consumption during pregnancy was limited. Although health professionals were willing to discuss alcohol with pregnant women, many did not make this a routine part of practice, and several concerning judgments were noted.
Conclusion: Communication between health professionals and pregnant women needs to be improved to ensure that accurate information about alcohol use in pregnancy is being provided. Further, it is important to ensure that the national guidelines are being supported by health professionals.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Submitted version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Institute for Resilient Regions
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2016 08:18
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 05:26
Uncontrolled Keywords: halth promotion; pregnancy; alcohol drinking; prenatal education; foetal alcohol spectrum disorders
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1110 Nursing > 111006 Midwifery
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1114 Paediatrics and Reproductive Medicine > 111402 Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920507 Women's Health
C Society > 92 Health > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920205 Health Education and Promotion
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.wombi.2015.04.003
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/30067

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