Bridging the research gap: aboriginal and academic collaboration in FASD prevention. The Healthy Communities, Mothers and Children Project.

M. A. George*, P. Masotti, S. MacLeod, M. Van Bibber, C. Loock, M. Fleming, T. McDiarmid, A. M. Morton, E. Penno, E. Prince, J. Ranford, A. Salmon, C. Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: The objective was to assist with the prevention of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder through a participatory research approach involving local women and health care workers. Our interest was in understanding how well communities could develop culturally appropriate methods of helping women to reduce their alcohol consumption during pregnancy. STUDY DESIGN: Four geographically distant Aboriginal communities were presented with a task of adapting a standard Brief Alcohol Intervention, and in particular to develop a culturally appropriate means of using the Intervention with women in the community. METHODS: Academic and Aboriginal community researchers worked together in partnership, using a participatory action research approach to address alcohol use during pregnancy. RESULTS: The outcome of the project was the design of four differing models of culturally appropriate community interventions designed to support vulnerable women in their childbearing years. The intervention models developed by the four communities have five core characteristics: (1) identification of women at risk; (2) assessment of the woman's drinking/ drug use; (3) provision of information to the women; (4) delivery method facilitates the decision to adopt healthier behaviors; and (5) means to monitor changes. CONCLUSION: This project was considered successful in many respects: (1) each community developed a culturally-relevant prevention tool; (2) community involvement in the design lead to better understanding of its usefulness; (3) considerable knowledge exchange between academic and community partners took place; and (4) most importantly, it was found that community members can be active members in developing and implementing solutions to important public health issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-141
Number of pages3
JournalAlaska medicine
Issue number2 Suppl
StatePublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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