Effectiveness of a Novel Low Cost Intervention to Reduce Prenatal Alcohol Exposure in the Congo

Williams, Andrew D.; Nkombo, Yannick; Nkodia, Gery; Leonardson, Gary; Martsolf, Kathryn; Burd, Larry
March 2014
Open Journal of Pediatrics;Mar2014, Vol. 17 Issue 1, p84
Academic Journal
Objective: Determine the effectiveness of an intervention to reduce prenatal alcohol exposure in the Congo. Methods: We utilized a screening tool validated in the Congo to identify women who were drinking during pregnancy. The intervention was implemented by prenatal care providers comparing 162 women receiving the intervention with 58 (controls) who did not. The study endpoints were proportion of women who quit drinking, drinking days per week, drinks per drinking day, most drinks on any day, and number of binge episodes per week. Results: In the control group 36% of the women quit drinking compared to 54% in the intervention group (Chi-square 5.61; p = 0.02). The number of drinking days per week for the controls decreased by 50.1% compared to 68% for the intervention group (p = 0.008); drinks per drinking day for the controls decreased by 37% compared to 60.1% for the intervention group (p = 0.001); and most drinks on any occasion in the controls decreased by 38% compared to 61% for the intervention group (p = 0.004). Conclusions: This study demonstrates the effectiveness of a low cost in-office intervention to reduce prenatal alcohol exposure in the Congo. At $1.50 per beer, the reduction in drinks per week would more than pay for the cost of the intervention. In addition to efforts to reduce alcohol use prior to pregnancy in the Congo, providers can now offer an evidence based intervention to reduce exposure for women who continue to drink during pregnancy.


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