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Health Promot Pract. 2008 Jan;9(1):93-103. doi: 10.1177/1524839907309044.

Fetal alcohol syndrome prevention using community-based narrowcasting campaigns.

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  • 1Department of Community Health Sciences, UCLA School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA, USA.


Preventing fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) by encouraging pregnant women to abstain from drinking alcohol competes with commercial alcohol marketing. Two FAS-prevention campaigns using a narrowcast approach among young women of childbearing age in two disadvantaged Southern California communities are compared. The design, implementation process, and degree to which campaigns reached the priority populations are the focus of this article. Formative research shows that young women in disadvantaged communities receive mixed messages about dangers of drinking during pregnancy. A social norms approach using positive role models was the most acceptable message strategy based on materials pretesting. Differences in campaign implementation and distribution strategies between communities were documented through program monitoring. Survey research indicated the more viable messaging and implementation strategies. Findings show that low-cost community campaigns are feasible; however, variations in messaging, distribution strategies, and saturation levels determine whether such campaigns succeed or fail to reach priority populations.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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