Knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of health, education, and service professionals as related to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders
Purpose: We explored differences in FASD knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors across six groups of professionals in key position to provide primary and secondary prevention efforts (physicians, educators, correctional staff, social workers, public health nurses, and substance abuse counselors).
Methods: Achieving a 60.1% response rate, 2,292 professionals returned surveys, providing data on basic knowledge of FAS, knowledge of FASD-associated risks and cognitive deficits, and willingness to confront and recommend treatment to alcohol-consuming pregnant women.
Results: Across groups, findings revealed ample FASD knowledge and willingness to confront and recommend treatment to alcohol-consuming pregnant women that increases as consumption becomes more frequent and severe. However, results revealed significant between-group differences, data that provide valuable guidance for targeted future FASD education efforts.
Conclusions: Public health initiatives regarding FASD have been effective in increasing knowledge among a broad range of professionals. However, between-group differences indicate the need for targeted, discipline-specific interventions. These differences highlight the need for all professional groups to provide a consistent public health message regarding maternal alcohol consumption.