AlCohol HArM PreventIOn iN pregnancy (CHAMPION)

Study Design: A mixed-methods study comprising qualitative and quantitative methods
Disease Area: Alcohol
Funder: NIHR RfPB
Sponsor: Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.
Chief Investigator: Prof Lesley Smith


Drinking too much alcohol can damage a woman’s health and also harm her baby. Sometimes this can lead to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. These problems are lifelong and can affect a child’s growth and development, including their physical and mental health, their behaviour and their ability to learn. Up to 17 in 100children in England might have symptoms of this disorder. National guidelines advise midwives to: ask pregnant women how much they drink; advise women not to drink alcohol when pregnant; and help women to access specialist support for alcohol problems. However, our recent research shows that not all midwives have this conversation at routine antenatal appointments. We identified some of the main reasons why this is not happening, and co-designed interventions to address them. Our overall aim is to assess the feasibility and acceptability of the implementation intervention to support midwives in assessing, advising and recording a woman's alcohol consumption during antenatal appointments.

What we plan to do

In PHASE I of our study, a team of researchers from the University of Hull, Birmingham City University, Northumbria University and the FASD Network UK carried out co-design workshops with maternity service users and midwives to design pragmatic interventions to support midwives implementing antenatal care addressing alcohol consumption during pregnancy. In PHASE II, we will test the feasibility and acceptability of the implementation interventions and antenatal care practices addressing alcohol consumption during pregnancy in two NHS Trusts in North East England over a three-month period.

We will recruit a total of 30-40 midwives from two NHS Trusts in North East England to implement the interventions. We will collect information from the maternity records of all women on the caseload of the midwives to see whether drinking alcohol was discussed and written in the notes and what actions were taken. After the 3-month period, we will recruit and interview 12-15 of the midwives and 12-15 women to assess the feasibility and acceptability of the intervention

What we will achieve

The study will help us to assess the engagement with each of the implementation intervention components by midwives, elicit the views of midwives of each of the implementation intervention components to assess their acceptability, perceived utility and impact on their practices during antenatal appointments. It will also help us to elicit the views of maternity service users regarding alcohol assessment and advice received from midwives in antenatal appointments during the implementation period, and assess the parameters that could inform the design of a future trial to test effectiveness and cost effectiveness of the implementation intervention components.

Chief Investigator

Prof Lesley Smith - Professor of Women's Public Health - University of Hull

HHTU Study team

Franklin Onukwugha - Research Fellow
Dr Matthew Northgraves - Trial Manager
Prof Judith Cohen - HHTU Director

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