1. Guidelines to reduce alcohol consumption in women of child-bearing age
Alcohol exposed pregnancies (AEP) entail a high risk to the unborn child. In the context of the ECfunded contract, FAR SEAS, we aimed to produce comprehensive guidelines for health and social care professionals, based on the best available evidence, on how to identify women at risk of or experiencing alcohol-related problems, and how to undertake effective preventive and treatment strategies to reduce the extent of alcohol-related harm to them. This session will present the guidelines, and stimulate discussions on their implementation and transferability.
The guideline’s contents were based on the analysis of evidence resulting from the literature. Sources included open databases, grey literature repositories and meetings with experts.
23 recommendations were formulated and agreed with experts within 7 different topics on the areas of policies, communication strategies, SBIRT, treatment and social services. It is recommended to respect women's autonomy and protect them from discrimination and stigmatization. Policies should be multicomponent, and public health communication should combine information about the risks together with self-efficacy messages to promote changes. Universal screening is recommended in women of childbearing age, including the detection of other psychosocial risks and accompanied by individualized interventions for those who require it, including their partners.
Comprehensive and multidisciplinary support should be provided to women with alcohol use disorders, also addressing psychosocial risks.
There is a notable interest in FAS/FASD prevention. Improvement of health literacy on the adverse effects of alcohol use during pregnancy should be ensured at the general population level, as well as an improved access to early detection of pregnancies and multidisciplinary support to pregnant women with AUD and complex needs.