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Since the 2016 release of the Australian Guide to the Diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), considerable progress has been made in the identification and diagnosis of the disorder. As part of a larger process to review and update the Guide, this study aims to identify review priorities from a broad range of stakeholders involved in the assessment and diagnosis of FASD. Sixty-two stakeholders, including healthcare practitioners, researchers, other specialists, individuals with cultural expertise, lived experience and consumer representatives completed an online survey asking them to describe up to five priorities for the review of the Australian Guide to the Diagnosis of FASD.

Date:
May 2022
Journal name:
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Authors:
Nicole Hayes, Lisa K. Akison, Sarah Goldsbury, Nicole Hewlett, Elizabeth J. Elliott, Amy Finlay-Jones, Dianne C. Shanley ,Kerryn Bagley, Andi Crawford, Haydn Till, Alison Crichton ,Rowena Friend ,Karen M. Moritz ,Raewyn Mutch, Sophie Harrington ,Andrew Webster, Natasha Reid
Page last updated 11 May 2022

Clinical guideline recommendations for addressing alcohol consumption during pregnancy are sub-optimally implemented and limited evidence exists to inform practice improvements. This study aims to estimate the effectiveness of a practice change intervention in improving the provision of antenatal care addressing alcohol consumption during pregnancy in public maternity services. A randomised stepped-wedge controlled trial was undertaken with all public maternity services in three sectors (one urban, two regional/rural) of a single local health district in New South Wales, Australia. Five thousand six hundred ninety-four interviews/online questionnaires were completed by pregnant women.

Date:
March 2022
Journal name:
MC pregnancy and childbirth
Authors:
Emma Doherty, Melanie Kingsland, Elizabeth J Elliott, Belinda Tully, Luke Wolfenden, Adrian Dunlop, Ian Symonds, John Attia, Sarah Ward, Mandy Hunter, Carol Azzopardi, Chris Rissel, Karen Gillham, Tracey W Tsang, Penny Reeves, John Wiggers.
Page last updated 9 May 2022

Alcohol labelling laws and policy are contentious and highly politicized. Very few countries have been able to implement health warnings on alcohol labels due to complex legal and governance systems and coordinated industry lobbying. In 2020, Australia and New Zealand implemented a mandatory and evidence-based legal standard for pregnancy warning labels on alcohol products. This article discusses some of the challenges faced in achieving policy change and how these barriers were overcome by public health advocacy groups to build the evidence, counter industry conflicts of interest, consumer test health messages, mobilize community support and gather political support.

Date:
April 2022
Journal name:
Health Promotion International
Authors:
Maddie Heenan, Janani Shanthosh, Katherine Cullerton, Stephen Jan.
Page last updated 27 April 2022

This study evaluates the impact of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) on child and family functioning. Caregivers of 35 children with FASD were surveyed. The study looks at Child-health-related functioning, family impact, impact on siblings and caregiver stress.

Date:
March 2022
Journal name:
Archives of disease in childhood
Authors:
Natalie Lynette Phillips, Marcel David Zimmet, Amy Phu, Meenakshi Rattan, Yvonne Zurynski, Elizabeth J Elliott.
Page last updated 27 April 2022

The Lililwan Project was the first Australian population-based prevalence study of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) using active case ascertainment. Conducted in 2010-2011, the study included 95% of all eligible children aged 7-9 years living in the very remote Aboriginal communities of the Fitzroy Valley, Western Australia. The Bigiswun Kid Project follows up the Lililwan cohort in 2020-2022 at age 17-19 years. The aims of this project are to identify adolescents' needs and build knowledge to inform services to improve the health and well-being of adolescents in remote Aboriginal communities.

Date:
March 2022
Journal name:
BMJ Open
Authors:
Lauren J Rice, Tracey W Tsang , Emily Carter, Marmingee Hand, Jadnah Davies , Sue Thomas, Eric Bedford, Emma Bear, Cheyenne Carter, Lisa Cannon, Elizabeth J Elliott
Page last updated 4 April 2022

Impairments caused by pre-natal alcohol exposure contribute to the over-representation of individuals with FASD in the United States juvenile and adult criminal justice systems. These same impairments can equally impact on individuals with FASD who are witnesses to or victims of crime who also have to navigate the complexities of the criminal justice system. Individuals with FASD are particularity at risk of confabulation when they are subjected to tactics, such as stressful and anxiety-provoking situations, threats, and leading, suggestive, or coercive questioning. This article serves as a beginner's guide for professionals working in criminal justice settings by (a) providing research-based overviews of FASD and confabulation, (b) describing how FASD may lead to confabulation, and (c) suggesting ways that professionals can modify protocols when interacting with individuals with FASD.

Date:
January 2022
Journal name:
Behavioral Science and the Law
Authors:
Jerrod Brown Alec Jonason , Erik Asp, Valerie McGinn, Megan N Carter, Vanessa Spiller, Amy Jozan.
Page last updated 21 March 2022

For individuals with FASD, brain-based deficits translate into impulsive behaviors and poorly thought-out decision-making, coupled with an inability to anticipate and recognize the sometimes very severe consequences of their behaviors. Not unexpectedly, individuals with FASD frequently find themselves disproportionately involved in the criminal justice system and mental health services. For some individuals with FASD, these behaviors can also include firesetting. First responders, like other health and legal professionals, are often unable to recognize the behavioral indicators of FASD, primarily due to a lack of training. This article will outline key behavioral symptoms of FASD as well as provide first responders with suggestions as to how to best support individuals when FASD is suspected. The brief quote that follows highlights some of the key challenges facing individuals with FASD and how poor decision-making and impulsiveness can result in severe consequences for the individual and those around them.

Date:
December 2021
Journal name:
Behavioral Sciences and the Law
Authors:
Jerrod Brown, Vanessa Spiller, Megan Carter, Kathi Osmonson, Don Porth, Deanna Bishop-Deaton, Amy Jozan
Page last updated 21 March 2022

Implementation of antenatal clinical guideline recommendations are implemented for addressing maternal alcohol consumption is sub-optimal There is a complete absence of evidence of the cost and cost-effectiveness of delivering practice change interventions addressing maternal alcohol consumption amongst women accessing maternity services. The study sought to determine the cost, cost-consequence and cost-effectiveness of developing and delivering a multi-strategy practice change intervention in three sectors of a health district in New South Wales, Australia.

Date:
February 2022
Journal name:
Implementation Science
Authors:
Zoe Szewczyk, Penny Reeves, Melanie Kingsland, Emma Doherty, Elizabeth Elliott, Luke Wolfenden, Tracey W. Tsang, Adrian Dunlop, Andrew Searles & John Wiggers
Page last updated 18 March 2022

There is a paucity of prospective longitudinal studies examining the associations between maternal use of alcohol and tobacco during pregnancy and the risk of cannabis use in offspring. The aim of this study was to examine the association between prenatal alcohol and tobacco exposures and offspring cannabis use.

Date:
February 2022
Journal name:
Neurotoxicology and Teratology
Authors:
Bereket Duko, GavinPereira, Robert J.Tait, Kim Betts, John Newnham, Rosa Alatia.
Page last updated 18 March 2022

Neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD), including cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorder and foetal alcohol spectrum disorder, are characterised by impaired development of the early central nervous system, impacting cognitive and/or physical function. Early detection of NDD enables infants to be fast-tracked to early intervention services, optimising outcomes. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander infants may experience early life factors increasing their risk of neurodevelopmental vulnerability, which persist into later childhood, further compounding the health inequities experienced by First Nations peoples in Australia. The LEAP-CP prospective cohort study will investigate the efficacy of early screening programmes, implemented in Queensland, Australia to earlier identify Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander infants who are 'at risk' of adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes (NDO) or NDD.

Date:
January 2022
Journal name:
BMJ Open
Authors:
Carly R Luke, Katherine Benfer, Leeann Mick-Ramsamy, Robert S Ware, Natasha Reid, Arend F Bos, Margot Bosanquet, Roslyn N Boyd.
Page last updated 18 March 2022