Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders prevention and clinical guidelines research-workshop report

Tracey Pérez Koehlmoos*, Elizabeth Lee, Jennifer Wisdahl, Tom Donaldson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

It is estimated that up to 1 in 20 people in the United States are affected by fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), an array of cognitive, emotional, physical and social disorders caused by exposure to alcohol during prenatal development. Common diagnoses encompassed within FASD include mood and behavioral disorders, memory and central nervous system deficits, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), slow growth and low body weight. While this condition affects a broad range of individuals and families, it is of particular concern in the military community, where cultural factors including an increased prevalence of alcohol misuse pose a unique set of challenges. To shed light on these issues and provide an overview of the existing research, programs, and clinical practice guidelines surrounding FASD, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), in conjunction with FASD United, hosted the Workshop on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Prevention and Clinical Guidelines Research on 21 September 2022 in Washington, DC. More than 50 attendees from academia, healthcare, federal agencies, and consumer advocacy organizations gathered to share research findings, lived experiences, and strategies for improving FASD prevention, diagnosis, interventions, and support. The workshop began with a series of presentations on FASD risk factors and causes, strategies for diagnosis and interventions, and impacts and lived experiences. Individuals and families affected by FASD spoke about the ways FASD, its symptoms, and the social stigma associated with it influences their daily lives, experiences at school and work, and access to healthcare. Several speakers highlighted the work of non-profit organizations and advocacy groups in supporting families affected by FASD and other challenges faced by military families more broadly. The workshop closed with a discussion of federal agency perspectives highlighting initiatives aimed at advancing research and access to care for women and families at-risk and those currently affected by FASD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number19
JournalBMC Proceedings
Volume17
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2023
Externally publishedYes

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