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Health Mark Q. 2010 Jan;27(1):66-85. doi: 10.1080/07359680903519776.

Preventing fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: the role of protection motivation theory.

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  • 1University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.


This article examines health communication campaigns aimed at preventing alcohol consumption among women who are pregnant or attempting to become pregnant. Relevant communication materials were gathered and a qualitative review was conducted. A majority of the campaigns followed the tenets of protection motivation theory by focusing on the threat variables of severity and vulnerability, as well as emphasizing response efficacy. Few campaigns focused on costs or self-efficacy. Future fetal alcohol spectrum disorders prevention initiatives should attempt to reduce perceived costs, as well as include self-efficacy messages in order to increase women's confidence that they can carry out the recommended actions.

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