Choices : a program for women about choosing healthy behaviors to avoid alcohol-exposed pregnancies : counselor manual
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Choices : a program for women about choosing healthy behaviors to avoid alcohol-exposed pregnancies : counselor manual

Filetype[PDF-2.10 MB]

  • English

  • Details:

    • Alternative Title:
      Counselor manual
    • Description:
      Prenatal alcohol exposure is a leading preventable cause of birth defects and developmental disabilities in the United States. Studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) find that each year approximately 500,000 pregnant women report they drank alcohol in the past month, and approximately 80,000 pregnant women report binge drinking (five or more drinks on any one occasion). Fetal exposure to alcohol results in a spectrum of adverse effects that has been termed Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs), with the brain and central nervous system being particularly sensitive to the effects of alcohol. Alcohol exposure during pregnancy can have profound and life-long consequences for children. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is one of the most involved conditions along the spectrum and affects up to two out of every 1,000 infants born each year in the United States. The estimated lifetime cost of FAS is $2 million per case, with an annual cost for all cases of $4 billion to the nation.

      Most women reduce alcohol consumption after learning they are pregnant. Others do not recognize they are pregnant in the early weeks of gestation and continue to drink at high levels. Among women of childbearing age (18–44 years), more than half report they drank alcohol in the past month, and one in eight reports binge drinking in the past month. Women who are planning to become pregnant or are at risk of becoming pregnant should avoid using alcohol if they are sexually active and not using contraception. Studies find that about half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned. About half of these unplanned pregnancies occur in women who are using contraception but not effectively. Enhancing effective contraception in women who are drinking at risk levels could help them avoid having an alcohol-exposed pregnancy (AEP).

      The overall goal of the CHOICES intervention is to reduce AEPs by identifying and intervening with at-risk women in the preconception period or prior to pregnancy. To do this, the intervention is designed to address both alcohol reduction and pregnancy prevention.

      This manual is based on a multisite, evidence-based intervention study. In that study, investigators found the CHOICES intervention could help women lower their risk of an AEP by reducing drinking; beginning consistent, effective contraception use, or both.


      One manual included in the CDC-INFO Pub ID 221265 CHOICES Curriculum - CD Package "CHOICES: A Program for Women About Choosing Healthy Behaviors" is an intervention for nonpregnant women of childbearing age and is designed to prevent alcohol-exposed pregnancies by addressing risky drinking and ineffective or no use of contraception. The CHOICES Curriculum includes CD-ROMs for each of the following: Facilitator guide, counselor manual, client workbook, and a training DVD with videos demonstrating components of the intervention. The training DVD now includes both English and Spanish sub-titles.

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