Principal Advisor: Associate Professor Deborah Askew


Organisational unit: School of Clinical Medicine

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) is a diagnostic term that describes the permanent neurodevelopmental impairments that result from prenatal alcohol exposure and is the most common non-genetic developmental disorder in Australia. Individuals with FASD may have a range of physical, emotional, behavioural, cognitive and social difficulties in addition to significantly lower average life expectancy.

The key to FASD prevention is the reduction and/or elimination of prenatal alcohol exposure. However, simplistic advice to not drink alcohol during pregnancy ignores the structural factors that predispose women to consume alcohol. Some remote Aboriginal communities have been highly proactive in determining FASD prevalence and developing community-led prevention activities (e.g. Fitzroy and Ord Valleys in Western Australia). A key learning from these remote communities was that service delivery models must be informed by the local social, cultural and environmental milieu.

This project is being conducted in Toowoomba at Carbal Aboriginal Medical Services. The project aims to co-create service delivery models that are appropriate and relevant to the unique context of this Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health service and its community, and identify the key processes, enablers and barriers in developing PHC-based models of FASD care to facilitate transferability to other urban settings.