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Can J Clin Pharmacol. 2008 Summer;15(2):e344-66. Epub 2008 Sep 5.

Development of Canadian screening tools for fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

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The Motherisk Program, Division of Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario.



Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is the most common cause of neurobehavioural handicap in North America. Screening for FASD may facilitate diagnosis and hence management of these children. We present a variety of screening tools for the identification of children at risk for FASD.


We critically reviewed and evaluated published and practiced methods for their potential of screening suspected cases, their epidemiological characteristics (sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values) [Phase I], as well as their feasibility [Phase II].


The following five tools were selected for the FASD screening toolkit: screening fatty acid ethyl esters in neonatal meconium, the modified Child Behaviour Checklist, Medicine Wheel tool, Asante Centre Probation Officer Tool, and maternal history of drinking and drug use.


The toolkit for FASD screening aims at screening different populations, from the newborns to youth and at-risk mothers. It is anticipated that the toolkit will facilitate diagnosis of FASD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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