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Health Care Provider Advice and Risk Factors Associated With Alcohol Consumption Following Pregnancy Recognition
Mary J. O'Connor, Shannon E. Whaley
Objective: This study examined the extent to which pregnant women participating in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) were counseled by their health care providers to stop drinking alcohol during pregnancy. A second purpose was to identify characteristics associated with alcohol consumption postrecognition of pregnancy. Method: The sample consisted of 279 women who continued to drink after learning they were pregnant. Measures of provider advice on alcohol consumption, demographic characteristics, caffeine intake, smoking, other drug use, alcohol risk (using the TWEAK scale), and depressive symptoms on the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) were collected. Results: Sixty-two percent of women had significantly high TWEAK scores, and 60% scored within the clinical range for depression (CES-D ? 16). Sixty percent of sample women had been advised by their care providers not to drink alcohol during pregnancy. Women who were most likely to receive advice were black non-Hispanic and Hispanic, were Spanish speaking, were less educated, were on public assistance, and had a higher number of alcohol-related risk behaviors. Advanced age, public assistance, caffeine use, smoking, and elevated TWEAK and CES-D scores predicted elevations in alcohol consumption rates. Conclusions: Although advice to stop drinking during pregnancy was provided to 60% of this sample, women continued to drink following pregnancy recognition, with alcohol consumption rates highly associated with sociodemographic and psychological factors, namely maternal depression. Because elevations in alcohol consumption during pregnancy are associated with poorer developmental outcomes for children, further efforts are needed to better address social and mental health factors that influence consumption. (J. Stud. Alcohol 67: 22-31, 2006)