Task 1 – Preventing Fetal Alcohol Exposure

Background

In the EU region, despite moderate decreases in recent years, the prevalence of women’s drinking still remains almost 20% higher than the global prevalence. This is thought to be due to increases in economic wealth, changes in gender roles, lifestyles and accessibility of alcohol (WHO, 2018). A recent systematic review and meta-analysis estimated that 25.2% of European women drink during pregnancy (Popova et al. 2017), despite existing evidence to indicate that there are effective ways to reduce prenatal alcohol exposure through targeted and embedded healthcare interventions (e.g. Kane et al. 2019)

FAR SEAS Task 1 – Piloting regional best practice

Task 1 of FAR SEAS is developing and testing a regional good practice intervention package, based on available evidence, to support women of child-bearing age, particularly pregnant women, in reducing the risk of development of FASD in their babies.

As a first step, FAR SEAS mapped existing action to address the problem and prevent pre-natal alcohol exposure, through a comprehensive literature review and a survey of professionals working national, local or international good and best practices to prevent FASD.

The resulting knowledge was used to inform and develop a comprehensive prevention package for health care settings, which is being piloted and evaluated in a regional-level implementation study in the Mazovian voivodeship (region) of Poland.

As of Summer 2021, professionals have received tailored training and the pilot study for this package to support women in reducing drinking during pregnancy is underway, including a new website and online support (consultation with a professional in the area). Read more about it in our press release for FASD Awareness Day 2021 (9/9/2021).