Response to “A critique for the new Canadian FASD diagnostic Guidelines”


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Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD): A guideline for diagnosis across the lifespan (Cook et al., 2016b) was published to provide updated recommendations for diagnoses related to prenatal alcohol exposure. As part of the AGREE process to update the 2005 guideline, the authors undertook a literature review, as well as, a broad consultative process that involved input from national and international multidisciplinary experts in the field of FASD. In our deliberations, we explored the alternative diagnostic approaches with respect to our Canadian population, evidence and expertise. The final document, and its associated recommendations, was the result of two years of national and international consultations, reviews of multiple drafts and the available evidence-base at the time.

This Clinical Commentary is a response to the critique Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Canadian guidelines for diagnosis, written by McLennan and Braunberger (McLennan & Braunberger, 2017). Testing the reliability and validity of guidelines is an essential part of adapting to new high-quality evidence and ensuring that recommendations remain strong. The revised diagnostic guideline authors have met and appreciate the opportunity to review and reflect on their methods in response to McLennan and Braunberger’s paper (McLennan & Braunberger, 2017).

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