Original Articles

Knowledge of gestational alcohol drinking risks: results from a survey among Italian secondary school students


Abstract


Introduction. Ethanol is the most widely used drug worldwide. Its consumption has been increasing, and it is reported even during childbearing. Prenatal exposure to ethanol can lead to irreversible damages of the fetus. Knowledge about this risk could prevent these damages. There is no information about knowledge of the Italian students on this issue. Methods. Therefore the aim of this study was to describe the awareness of the Italian students attending the last year of secondary school about risk of gestational alcohol drinking for the delivering mother and the fetus. An online multiple-choice anonymous survey for students was used and e-mailed to the all Italian secondary schools. Results. The respondents were 9.921 and the obtained results evidenced that that young females are more informed than males, and students in Northern and Central Italy are better informed than those in the South, especially on general aspects. The most of respondents knows that alcohol consumption during pregnancy can damage the fetus. However, many youngsters failed to translate this belief into the practice. Conclusions. In conclusion, interventions are needed to enhance knowledge and prevent these damages, and health professionals, with nurses in the first row are entitled to provide education on this topic.


Keywords


Alcoholic drinks; fetal alcohol syndrome; fetal alcohol spectrum disorders; Italy; pregnancy; students

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