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Table 2 Questions used at the Perth Community Conversation

From: Involving consumers and the community in the development of a diagnostic instrument for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders in Australia

Background provided to participants Questions
Research indicates that health professionals have an important role to play in the prevention of prenatal alcohol exposure. Women expect health professionals to ask and advise them about alcohol during pregnancy. However, the majority of health professionals in Western Australia do not routinely ask pregnant women about alcohol use or provide them with information about the consequences of alcohol use in pregnancy. a) If you were pregnant, what would you want your health professional to say to you to about alcohol?
b) How would you want the health professional to raise it with you? Are there ways of asking that might work better for particular groups of women or that account for cultural sensitivities?
c) What information would you want a health professional to give you?
d) Would it be any different if the information came from a midwife, community health nurse, GP or an obstetrician?
Currently, information is collected by midwives on all mothers and newborn babies. There is information on the baby such as weight, length and head circumference; labour and delivery details; and details on the mother such as age, height, marital status, ethnic origin, previous pregnancies and smoking during pregnancy. This information is recorded on the midwives’ Notification of Birth Form. a) If you had just given birth, would you agree to answer a question (or questions?) about your alcohol use during pregnancy?
b) What do you think is the best way for a health professional to ask this question? Are there ways of asking that might work better for particular groups of women or that account for cultural sensitivities?
Research has shown that there is confusion about ‘what are a few drinks’ and the alcohol content of various drinks. Therefore, just asking if you have consumed any alcohol during pregnancy does not provide sufficient information to health professionals. You may refer the participants to the ‘Standard Drinks’ Guides in their handouts. How would you feel if you were pregnant and asked to provide more detail about your alcohol use? This information could include:
a) When during the nine months of your pregnancy did you drink alcohol (months 1–3, months 4–6, months 7–9)?
b) How much alcohol did you drink at each occasion (for example 3 full strength beers, 1 glass of wine)?
c) How frequent were those occasions when you drank alcohol (for example three times a day, daily, weekly, etc.)?
d) What do you think is the best way for a health professional to ask these questions? Are there ways of asking that might work better for particular groups of women or that account for cultural sensitivities?
Delayed development, low IQ and learning difficulties in children can be caused by a range of factors, including prenatal alcohol exposure. a) If you had a child with delayed development, low IQ or learning difficulties, would you agree to answer questions about your alcohol use during pregnancy?
b) What do you think is the best way for a health professional to ask these questions? Are there ways of asking that might work better for particular groups of women or that account for cultural sensitivities?