Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) are the leading preventable cause of developmental disabilities in the United States and likely throughout the world. FASDs can be prevented by avoiding alcohol use during pregnancy; however, efforts to prevent risky alcohol consumption in women of childbearing potential have not been universally successful.
Data suggest that successful interventions may require tailoring methods to meet the needs of specific populations and cultures. Key findings of interventions previously tested among American Indian and Alaskan Native (AI/AN) women who are or may become pregnant, data gaps, and promising ongoing interventions are reviewed.
A systematic review of the current literature on empirically based interventions among AI/AN women was conducted. Selected alternative approaches currently being tested in AI/AN settings are also described.
Similar to findings among other populations of women in the United States, a number of interventions have been implemented; however, only a small number have measured results. Approaches have included standard interventions involving hospitalization, inpatient, or outpatient care; wellness education; traditional approaches; and case management for high-risk women. An ongoing Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) protocol comparing the effectiveness of a web-based culturally adapted tool, or a peer health educator model to standard clinical practice is described.
Translation of successful interventions from other settings to AI/AN populations holds promise.
FASDs represent a significant health issue with high personal and societal costs. Improvement of interventions to prevent prenatal alcohol consumption in specific populations, including AI/AN women, is a critical public health need.