Brief intervention for alcohol use by pregnant women.

TitleBrief intervention for alcohol use by pregnant women.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsO'Connor MJ, Whaley SE
JournalAm J Public Health
Date Published2007 Feb
KeywordsAfrican Americans, Alcohol Drinking, Birth Weight, California, Counseling, Dietary Services, European Continental Ancestry Group, Female, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, Hispanic Americans, Humans, Infant, Newborn, Los Angeles, Male, Mass Screening, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Outcome, Prenatal Care, Prenatal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena, Psychotherapy, Brief, Risk Reduction Behavior

OBJECTIVES: We examined the efficacy of brief intervention as a technique to help pregnant women achieve abstinence from alcohol. A second aim was to assess newborn outcomes as a function of brief intervention.

METHODS: Two hundred fifty-five pregnant women who were participants in the Public Health Foundation Enterprises Management Solutions Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children and who reported drinking alcohol were assigned to an assessment-only or a brief intervention condition and followed to their third trimester of pregnancy. Brief intervention consisted of 10- to 15-minute sessions of counseling by a nutritionist, who used a scripted manual to guide the intervention. Newborn outcomes of gestation, birth-weight, birth length, and viability were assessed.

RESULTS: Women in the brief intervention condition were 5 times more likely to report abstinence after intervention compared with women in the assessment-only condition. Newborns whose mothers received brief intervention had higher birthweights and birth lengths, and fetal mortality rates were 3 times lower (0.9%) compared with newborns in the assessment-only (2.9%) condition.

CONCLUSIONS: The success of brief intervention conducted in a community setting by nonmedical professionals has significant implications for national public health policies.

Alternate JournalAm J Public Health
PubMed ID17194863
PubMed Central IDPMC1781394
Grant ListR01-AA12480 / AA / NIAAA NIH HHS / United States