The comparative study on FAS has been conducted.
As part of the implementation of the Program for the Prevention of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, a comparative study of attitudes towards alcohol and the level of knowledge about fetal alcohol syndrome among patients of antenatal clinics in St. Petersburg has been carried out.
Surveys conducted in June and October-November 2022 by RPCO "DAPC" and researches of the National Scientific Narcology Center, led to a number of conclusions:
1. Conversations with a doctor or health care provider are the most significant sources of information for women about the dangers of alcohol use during pregnancy, which indicates that passive information does not have enough effect on changing behavior associated with the use of psychoactive substances.
2. Among the most significant actions that a pregnant woman must adhere to in order for the child to be born healthy is the complete renunciation of the use of drugs, alcohol and nicotine-containing products, however, only 85% of the women surveyed (before the implementation of the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Prevention Program), indicated that in the event of pregnancy, completely abandon the use of alcohol. In autumn, the percentage of women who plan to completely abstain from alcohol during pregnancy increased to 93%, and the number of women who planned to allow alcohol in the event of pregnancy has halved - from 6 to 3%.
3. Despite the high prevalence of women's awareness about harm of alcohol consumption during pregnancy (95%), only 25% of survey participants had heard about fetal alcohol syndrome before the start of the program, which indicates a lack of awareness among women about real consequences of prenatal ethanol exposure to the fetus. By November, the percentage of women aware of fetal alcohol syndrome had increased to 43%.
4. The number of women who believe that drinking alcohol during pregnancy may not be dangerous has decreased by 20% (from 45 to 36%).
5. The results of screening using the AUDIT test showed that 74% of the women surveyed had a "relatively low risk of problems associated with alcohol use", "harmful drinking" - in 14% of the respondents, "risk of possible alcohol dependence" - in 3 respondents. The results of the AUDIT test in the group of pregnant women caused the greatest concern before the start of the program: 27.6% (or 8% of the total number of women surveyed) continued to drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy.
6. The number of women planning pregnancy in the next 12 months and, at the same time, drinking alcohol during the last year, decreased from 88.2% to 73.0% during the implementation of the program.
7. In June, "a relatively low risk of alcohol-related problems" was identified in 74% of those surveyed, and by November this figure had risen to 85%.
8. The data obtained indicate the continued need to improve interventions aimed at preventing the use of alcoholic beverages among pregnant women and women planning pregnancy, as well as active communication about the harmful effects of consumption and developmental problems of children exposed to fetal ethanol., indicate the effectiveness of the prevention program and confirm the need for further implementation and development of FAS prevention programs among women of reproductive age in general, and in the group of pregnant women in particular.