As part of the work of the Family Health Program, the Thunder Bay District Health Unit has published results from a research project on best practices to preventing alcohol-exposed pregnancy. Alongside reviewing literature, they looked at practices both in their health unit and among local community programs and services, and at provincial public health standards.
Seven over-arching themes were identified for a multi-pronged approach to preventing FASD:
1. Population Health Surveillance
2. Public Awareness
3. Public Programs
4. Education for Health Care and Social Service Providers
5. Screening and Intervention by Health Care and Social Services Providers
7. Policy/Government Directives (1)
The report targets gaps to be addressed within each of these themes. As an example, within “Public Programs” there is a call to expand or develop programming that is culturally based and that includes women’s partners, and within “Education” to replace generalized training and education with approaches that target specific provider needs.
The authors caution readers not to “dilute the alcohol and pregnancy focus” when incorporating recommendations into existing service structures, and stress that additional research and evidence of programming, policy, and partnerships is needed.
- Thunder Bay District Health Unit, Family Health Program. (2016). Effective interventions and strategies to prevent alcohol-exposed pregnancies. Thunder Bay, ON.