FASD Database

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) in Georgia:  Database Development for Analysis of a Local Clinic Population.

Project Description:

      Although the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure have been known since the 1970s, little attention has been given to the development of effective interventions for these children.  Only 22 studies of interventions with FASD have been published (Review of Intervention Research in FASD, 2013).  In addition, there is a great deal that we do not know about those who apply for services.  According to May and Gossage (2001), estimates of prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), the most severe outcome of prenatal exposure, range from .5 to 2 cases per 1,000 in the United States;  for the full spectrum of FASD effects, prevalence may be as high as 1 in 100 or 1% of births.  These estimates suggest that a substantial number of children are at risk for medical and developmental problems related to FASD. 

      The goal of this project is to update a clinic database that will enhance our knowledge of the medical, cognitive, social, and behavioral characteristics of individuals with FASDs.  The identification of demographic and other characteristics of individuals evaluated at the Fetal Alcohol and Drug Exposure Clinic in Atlanta will provide information that can be used in treatment planning and in developing prevention strategies for children in Georgia.  Work is underway to complete abstraction of records from 2007 through 2011; these records will be added to an earlier data set (including records from 1996 through 2006). When completed, the database will include records of several thousand individuals who have been evaluated for FASDs.  Analyses of the full data set will allow the investigators to examine many questions of interest to researchers, clinicians, and policymakers.  For instance, what medical conditions are associated with prenatal alcohol exposure?   What are the family and social characteristics of affected children? What is the geographic pattern within the state of referrals for evaluation for problems related to suspected prenatal exposure?  What behavioral problems are associated with prenatal alcohol exposure?  The completed database will be a unique and valuable public health resource for answering questions about how FASDs affect children in the state of Georgia and how these problems can be most effectively prevented and treated. 

Funding: 

Funding is provided by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, State of Georgia.

Project Staff:

Principal Investigator:  Claire D. Coles, Ph.D.

Co-Investigators:  Mary Ellen Lynch, Ph.D., Karen K. Howell, Ph.D.

Project Manager:  Mary Ellen Lynch, Ph.D.

Data Managers:  Jonathan C. Cook, MPH, Amanda R. Gailey, MPH MAT

Data Entry:  Aniqa Alam, Abigail Lopez Rivera

References:

May P. A. & Gossage, J. (2001).  Estimating the prevalence of fetal alcohol syndrome:  A summary.  Alcohol Research and Health, 25, 159-167.

Review of Intervention Research in FASD. Plenary Session, 5th Annual International Meeting on FASD, Vancouver, BC, Canada, February 27, 2013.

According to the clinic database, the following figure shows the number of referrals to the ENEC clinic by each county in Georgia by population size.

Number of ENEC referrals