The Effectiveness of a Community-Based Intervention for Parents with FASD

Department of Pediatrics, University of Alberta, Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, 10230-111 Ave., Edmonton, AB, Canada.
Community Mental Health Journal (Impact Factor: 1.03). 04/2011; 47(2):209-19. DOI: 10.1007/s10597-009-9273-9
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the Step by Step program in which mentors work with parents affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) on a one-to-one basis. Mentors help clients identify and work towards meeting their needs and achieving their goals. Data from 24 closed client files was collected and analyzed and as predicted, the program was effective in helping clients reduce their needs and achieve their goals. The clients' reason for leaving the program as well as whether or not they had a formal FASD diagnosis had an impact on their success in the program. Data collected on additional mental health issues, experience of abuse and addictions helped to characterize the sample of clients and correlations were found between clients' experience of abuse and their past and/or present addictions issues. Limitations of this study as well as future implications were also discussed.

1 Follower
5 Reads
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: High numbers of individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) have been described as having mental health problems.  This article summarizes research about mental health problems in FASD and considers related developmental and environmental issues. A computer-based literature search was conducted in the databases Medline, PsycINFO, Google Scholar, Academic Search Complete, and Education Resources Information Centre for articles addressing the prevalence and types of mental health issues in individuals affected by FASD.  High rates of mental disorders within the FASD and prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) population were found to be consistently reported for both internalizing and externalizing disorders. Moreover, problems that emerge in childhood may reflect a convergence of genetic, environmental, and neurophysiological factors that persist into adulthood. Researchers are beginning to document the impacts of PAE on later mental health development. Further longitudinal study is needed to determine whether there is an increasing severity of mental health deficits and consequences with age, and whether any such changes reflect increasingly deteriorating environmental factors or brain-based factors. Additionally, research is needed to design interventions to better address the unique mental health needs of this population.
    Journal of Mental Health 07/2011; 20(5):438-48. DOI:10.3109/09638237.2011.577113 · 1.01 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Individuals with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) can experience profound impairments and long-term adverse outcomes. This systematic review adopts a life span perspective providing an extensive analysis of the available literature. Methods: Studies were identified from PsycInfo, PubMed, Scopus, Web of Knowledge, CINAHL, ERIC, The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and gray literature. Two reviewers independently screened the title and abstract of each reference, and the methodological rigor of the included studies was assessed using the Effective Public Health Project assessment tool. Results: Thirty-two studies met the inclusion criteria, of which the vast majority targeted early to middle childhood. Two studies focused on early intervention in the postnatal period, and 6 studies aimed to improve attention and/or self-regulation in childhood. Three of these provided promising evidence on improving self-regulatory difficulties for children with FASDs. Nine studies focused on improving specific areas of dysfunction. Six studies addressed social skills; 3 of these used an adaptation of a well-validated social skills program. Three studies provided promising initial evidence that parents and caregivers could benefit from support with child behavior and a further 4 studies provided education and advocacy for parents/caregivers, teachers, or child welfare workers. The final 2 studies were aimed at supporting parents who were themselves affected by prenatal alcohol exposure. Conclusions: There is growing evidence for interventions that improve outcomes for early to middle childhood. However, a lack of research exists outside of this developmental period. This lack of research is concerning given the potential positive impact of early intervention, for individuals and, financially, for governments. In addition, the lack of interventions for adolescents and adults further highlights the widening developmental gap and the potential influence of secondary disabilities for this at-risk population.
    Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 11/2015; DOI:10.1111/acer.12903 · 3.21 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective: Heavy prenatal alcohol exposure is associated with impaired school functioning. Spelling performance has not been comprehensively evaluated. We examined whether children with heavy prenatal alcohol exposure demonstrate deficits in spelling and related abilities, including reading, and tested whether there are unique underlying mechanisms for observed deficits in this population. Method: Ninety-six school-age children made up 2 groups: children with heavy prenatal alcohol exposure (AE, n = 49) and control children (CON, n = 47). Children completed select subtests from the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test-Second Edition and the NEPSY-II. Group differences and relations between spelling and theoretically related cognitive variables were evaluated using multivariate analysis of variance and Pearson correlations. Hierarchical regression analyses were used to assess contributions of group membership and cognitive variables to spelling performance. The specificity of these deficits and underlying mechanisms was tested by examining the relations between reading ability, group membership, and cognitive variables. Results: Groups differed significantly on all variables. Group membership and phonological processing significantly contributed to spelling performance, whereas for reading, group membership and all cognitive variables contributed significantly. For both reading and spelling, group × working memory interactions revealed that working memory contributed independently only for alcohol-exposed children. Conclusion: Alcohol-exposed children demonstrated a unique pattern of spelling deficits. The relation of working memory to spelling and reading was specific to the AE group, suggesting that if prenatal alcohol exposure is known or suspected, working memory ability should be considered in the development and implementation of explicit instruction. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
    Neuropsychology 02/2015; 29(6). DOI:10.1037/neu0000185 · 3.27 Impact Factor
Show more