A Systematic Review of Interventions to Improve Mental Health and Substance Use Outcomes for Individuals with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

Katherine Flannigan, Kelly D. Coons‐Harding, Tara Anderson, Lindsay Wolfson, Alanna Campbell, Mansfield Mela, Jacqueline Pei https://doi.org/10.1111/acer.14490


Individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) experience remarkably high rates of mental health and substance use challenges, beginning early in life and extending throughout adulthood. Proactive intervention can help to mitigate some of these negative experiences. Although the literature on FASD intervention is growing, there is currently a lack of consolidated evidence on interventions that may improve mental health and substance use outcomes in this population.

Informed by a life course perspective, we undertook a systematic review of the literature to identify interventions that improve mental wellness through all developmental stages for people with prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) and FASD. A total of 33 articles were identified, most of which were focused on building skills or strategies that underlie the well‐being of children with PAE and FASD and their families. Other interventions were geared toward supporting child and family wellness, and responding to risk or reducing harm.

There was a notable lack of interventions that directly targeted mental health and substance use challenges, and a major gap was also noted in terms of interventions for adolescents and adults. Combined, these studies provide preliminary and emerging evidence for a range of intervention approaches that may support positive outcomes for individuals with FASD across the life course.

Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/acer.14490

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