Obstetrics/GynecologyORIGINAL ARTICLE

Using One Question to Identify Women at Risk for an Alcohol-Exposed Pregnancy

Kenneth E. Johnson, DO; Mark B. Sobell, PhD; and Linda Carter Sobell, PhD
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: August 21, 2009

Accepted: January 12, 2010

Published: July 1, 2010

J Osteopath Med; 110(7): 381-384

Context: Consumption of 8 alcoholic drinks per week or 5 alcoholic drinks on one occasion by a pregnant woman can affect the developing fetus. However, it can be difficult to determine which patients are at risk.

Objectives: To evaluate how well the answer to a single question about binge drinking could help identify women at risk of an alcohol-exposed pregnancy (AEP).

Methods: Using data from a study of methods to prevent AEPs, the authors compared the efficacy of self-reported answers to a screening question about binge drinking (5 or more standard drinks on one occasion) within the past 90 days with answers to a question about drinking quantity (weekly consumption of 8 or more standard drinks) within the past 90 days.

Results: The participants were 354 women of childbearing age who met screening criteria for being at risk of an AEP. The binge question was answered positively by 346 women (97.7%) at risk, while only 209 women (59.0%) reported that they drank 8 or more drinks in a week.

Conclusions: A single question about binge drinking can effectively and quickly identify the majority of women at risk of an AEP.

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