Evaluation of the Supporting pregnant women who use alcohol or other drugs

December 2016

Dr Courtney Breen
Mrs Toni Karlsson
Associate Professor Lucinda Burns

Project description: 

Substance use among pregnant women is a significant public health issue. A range of adverse effects have been noted including increased risk of miscarriage and still birth, reduction in fetal growth, birth defects, developmental delay, growth retardation and neurological abnormalities.

To date work in Australia has described the prevalence and correlates of substance use in pregnancy. Given the harms associated with substance use in pregnancy largely occur in women who are substance dependent it is timely that work now be undertaken to minimise the harms in this group.

As women are less likely to present in specialist services it is important to detect and manage women who are pregnant and dependent on alcohol and /or other drugs in non-specialist settings. A resource was developed to assist primary care health professionals in the identification, management and if appropriate, referral of women who are pregnant and have a substance misuse problem.

The aim of this project is to evaluate the utility and effectiveness of the guide, Supporting pregnant women who use alcohol or other drugs: A guide for primary care professionals.

For full details, go to the project page.