Computer-delivered intervention for alcohol use during pregnancy

A team of researchers at Wayne State University's Parent Health Lab in the School of Medicine have received a three-year grant to develop a computer-delivered intervention for pregnant women at risk for alcohol use, which can lead to lifelong negative effects on the fetus. Prenatal exposure to alcohol affects attentional, cognitive, social and behavioral functioning and is a major cause of mental retardation. Infants born to African American women are at increased risk of adverse effects.

Screening, brief intervention, and referral for treatment ("SBIRT") approaches to use during pregnancy can be used by medical staff to identify and reduce alcohol use among pregnant women. SBIRT approaches are not often used, however, because of the amount of time, training, expertise and commitment required. Computer-delivered SBIRT approaches may offer an alternative approach through the use of consistent screening and evidence-based brief interventions at a lower cost, without requiring significant time of medical staff.

With this in mind, the National Institute on and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health recently funded the "Healthy Pregnancy Study," which will help Steven Ondersma, Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry and , and colleagues develop and test a highly practical, high-reaching computer-delivered intervention to reduce alcohol use during pregnancy.

Ondersma's study will lay the groundwork for larger-scale investigations of computer-delivered SBIRT for alcohol use during pregnancy. Ondersma and his team will evaluate the utility of handheld mobile devices and an anonymous self-interview format in screening for at-risk drinking among patients at a prenatal clinic, along with sophisticated interactive intervention software. In addition, the study will examine the validity of the alcohol biomarker, Ethyl Glucuronide (EtG), to indicate in study participants.

"If our study is successful, health care systems will have the ability to help far more at-risk women through this intervention than previously possible," said Ondersma. "In turn, it may also have a meaningful impact on reducing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders."

Provided by Wayne State University

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Obstetricians Often Overlook Alcohol Consumption in Pregnancy

Jul 21, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- One in every two pregnant Australian woman still consume alcohol during pregnancy, according to a study in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. The responsibility of providing ...

Drinking during pregnancy increases risk of premature birth

Apr 11, 2011

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage, premature birth, and low birth weight. But there are conflicting reports about how much alcohol, if any, it is safe for a pregnant woman ...

Dangers of drinking while pregnant emphasized by experts

Sep 09, 2010

University of Sydney researchers are urging pregnant women to think twice before consuming alcohol, with a new study revealing that while almost 93 percent of Australian women agree alcohol can affect the unborn child, 16 ...

Recommended for you

Are human breast milk microbiome 'neutral'?

4 hours ago

Human breast milk is considered the most ideal source of nutrition for infants and it should have played a critical role in the evolution and civilizations of human beings. Unlike our intuitive perception, human milk contains ...

User comments