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Health Promot Pract. 2008 Jul;9(3):289-93. Epub 2006 Jun 27.

The effectiveness of a multimedia program to prevent fetal alcohol syndrome.

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  • 1Department of Health Science and Human Ecology at California State University in San Bernardino, California, USA.

Abstract

Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) continues to be the leading preventable cause of mental retardation in the United States. Because abstaining from alcohol prior to and throughout pregnancy is the only way to prevent FAS, some prevention programs try to target women before they become pregnant. The Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Teaching and Research Awareness Campaign (FASTRAC) is a multimedia, peer-delivered educational presentation designed to reduce the incidence of FAS. Results from an ethnically diverse sample of high school students indicate that the program increased participants' knowledge regarding FAS but had no significant effect on participants' attitudes, beliefs about the dangers of FAS or intention to use alcohol during pregnancy. The FASTRAC program failed partly because of its didactic approach and the lack of health education principles that have been shown to be effective in changing other substance use behaviors. Suggestions for improving FAS prevention education programs are offered.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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