L. Smith, A. Hilton, J. Walker, et al., Prevention of alcohol related harm though preconception care: A scoping review of barriers and enablers, (2022), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dialog.2022.100040
To understand the perspectives of healthcare practitioners and women of reproductive age regarding addressing prevention of an alcohol exposed pregnancy before conception.
A scoping review of mixed methods, qualitative and quantitative research was conducted. Medline, CINAHL, EMBASE and PsychInfo databases were searched for literature published by March 2022. Data were extracted and synthesized.
Twenty-three studies were included. Views varied between healthcare practitioners and women about addressing alcohol with women before pregnancy. Healthcare practitioners agreed prevention was important but believed they were ill-prepared to provide support, and that it might be intrusive if women were not contemplating pregnancy. Whereas women would welcome advice from healthcare practitioners, particularly if offered during appointments or visits for services related to reproductive health. A knowledge deficit about pregnancy and fetal harms from alcohol was expressed by both healthcare practitioners and women.
Investment in alcohol education and skills training for healthcare professionals is required to ensure a coherent message is communicated across services, and that shared decision making about healthcare between service users and health professionals is facilitated. Future research should explore implementation of interventions to prevent alcohol exposed pregnancy in settings where women are seeking reproductive health support.