Developing local Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder diagnostic services and Models of Care in Australia


Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE). Recognition of FASD within Australia has continued to grow, particularly with the development of the Australian Diagnostic Guide, yet the availability of FASD-specific services continues to be limited.

This paper presents the views and experiences of the six sites across Australia involved in developing a FASD Model of Care (MoC) in their local area. Each site completed an online survey that included forced-choice questions (e.g., “What challenges did you face with creating your Model of Care?”) and free-text options (e.g., “Describe the process of establishing an FASD clinic at your site”).

In addition, follow-up interviews were completed with each site to ensure results were accurately captured. As a result, eight key themes were revealed: (1) importance of the FASD Coordinator position, (2) clinicians’ attitudes impact clinic success, (3) MDT co-location as a contributor to success, (4) improved FASD awareness, (5) inadequate planning for local contexts, (6) developing local networks, (7) difficulty maintaining community engagement and (8) challenges with the Australian diagnostic guide.

Finally, these themes are discussed within the Australian FASD context, advocating for the need to expand and improve these service offerings.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.