In 7 years, the FASD International Conference has grown to become a truly international event with presenters from six continents and from international health organizations such as the World Health Organization. Current research on clinical topics we’ve come to expect, like prevalence, diagnosis, and neurodevelopment outcomes, were featured this year along with newer topics like biomarkers and epigenetics (See some of the video recorded conference presentations here).
It was the emphasis on prevention, and stigma that took center stage for many attendees. For the first time, there was a specialized prevention plenary – “FASD Prevention Research – State of the Evidence, and Plans for a Global Network” – developed by Nancy Poole (CanFASD; Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health) and Moira Plant (Alcohol & Health Research Unit, University of West England). Using a model of prevention research used worldwide that Nancy first presented in a poster in 2009, researchers, advocates and birth mothers from around the world talked about where we are and where we need to go.
Watch for upcoming blogs in the next weeks for details on specific prevention presentations.
The Prevention Plenary was divided into 4 areas of presentation and discussion that we will cover in a few posts in the next weeks:
- Community-wide FASD prevention with Indigenous communities
- International research on discussing alcohol with all women and their partners, and empowering professionals to have these conversations
- Research on reaching and engaging women and children at highest risk using approaches that are theory based, and have an equity lens
- Plans for international FASD prevention research infrastructure