Priority Action Area 4: Evidence

Activities under priority action area 4 of the fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) action plan.

Specific Action 10

Conduct research into the incidence of FASD and other neurodevelopmental impairments in a New Zealand cohort

Activity and progress Status
Activities
36. Work with the clinical reference group to develop research, screening and assessment protocols Completed
The FASD Clinical reference group assisted in development of research, screening and assessment protocols.
37. Carry out screening and assessment with the Growing Up in New Zealand cohort Ongoing
The Ministry of Health has been working with the Auckland University and the Growing Up in New Zealand (GUiNZ) team to develop and use a set of psychometric indicators to identify children aged 8 years old with developmental or learning difficulties. A number of children from the ‘Leading Lights’ group of the GUiNZ study were offered a clinical assessment to see if FASD was the likely cause of their difficulties. The project is still ongoing and we expect to be able to provide an estimate of the prevalence of FASD in New Zealand children when the 8-year-old data is available.
38. Develop and test a basic support package Ongoing
The Ministry has implemented a basic support package with a number of children from the ‘Leading Lights’ group of the GUiNZ study who were offered a clinical assessment to see if FASD was the likely cause of their difficulties. The project is still ongoing.
39. Analyse information from the study to investigate:
  • the relationship between alcohol use and neurodevelopmental outcomes
  • the association between FASD and other neurodevelopmental outcomes in early childhood
  • the relationship between other antenatal exposures (eg, smoking, nutrition) and neurodevelopmental outcomes
Completed
See activity 22. The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) researchers is completing a study on the neurodevelopmental outcomes of four year old children exposed to alcohol prenatally using the GUiNZ data.
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