As part of its support for the Collaborative for Alcohol-Free Pregnancy: Partnering for Practice Change(www.cdc.gov) initiative, the CDC has launched a website featuring free fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) training and resources(nccd.cdc.gov) for health care professionals, including offerings specific to family physicians.(nccd.cdc.gov)
Online training courses(nccd.cdc.gov) currently offered on the site are FASD Primer for Healthcare Professionals and Preventing Alcohol-Exposed Pregnancies, and more are expected to be added in the coming weeks. Among those additional courses will be
- Diagnostic Overview of FASDs: Recognition and Referral,
- Implementing Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention in Clinical Practice, and
- Interprofessional Collaborative Practice as a Model for Prevention of Alcohol-Exposed Pregnancies.
The courses are designed to let learners save their progress as they go, said the CDC, which allows family physicians to use them as their schedules permit.
Jennifer Frost, M.D., medical director for the AAFP Health of the Public and Science Division, told AAFP News the CDC's online training covers three areas of FASDs that are important for clinicians: prevention, diagnosis and care.
Of these areas, she noted, "Prevention is where family physicians can have the greatest impact."
Among featured FASD resources for family physicians are
- "A Review of the History of Attitudes Toward Drinking in Pregnancy,"(www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov) which appeared in the journal Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research;
- "Advances in Diagnosis and Treatment of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders,"(www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov) published in Alcohol Research: Current Reviews;
- "Alcohol Use and Pregnancy Consensus Clinical Guidelines,"(www.jogc.com) which first appeared in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada; and
- "Anticipatory Guidance for Children and Adolescents with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Practice Points for Primary Health Care Providers,"(www.jptcp.com) published in the Journal of Population Therapeutics and Clinical Pharmacology.
Additional resources highlighted on the site include the Academy's Addressing Alcohol Use Practice Manual: An Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention Program,(466 KB PDF) and an article from the May/June 2017 issue of FPM on using alcohol screening and brief intervention to address patients' risky drinking.
According to Frost, the alcohol practice manual was developed by the AAFP in partnership with Baylor College of Medicine and was funded by the CDC.
AAFP member Roger Zoorob, M.D., M.P.H., Richard M. Kleberg Sr. Professor and Chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, told AAFP News last July that the alcohol manual guides family physicians step-by-step through the screening and intervention process and how to implement it in practice. It also addresses barriers to implementation and how to select and work with office champions to implement the process.
Frost said the AAFP recommends screening for alcohol misuse in all adults, including pregnant women.
Other related resources the Academy offers include its extensive policy statement on substance abuse and addiction and a preconception care position paper, as well as various CME opportunities.
"Recognizing characteristic features of FASD is important to ensure that patients receive appropriate care and support," Frost said. "While there is no cure for FASD, early intervention and support may improve outcomes for patients and their families."
Related AAFP News Coverage
Dissecting the CDC's Advice to Avoid Alcohol-exposed Pregnancies