ARCHIVED - Awareness of the Effects of Alcohol Use During Pregnancy and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Results of a National Survey

 

Prepared for: Health Canada
Prepared by: Environics Research Group Limited

January, 2000

Final Report

PDF Version (73 pages 321 KB) PN4568

PDF

Table of contents

1. Introduction

2. Summary of Findings

3. Behaviours to Increase Likelihood Of Having Healthy Baby

A. Top-of-Mind Awareness of Behaviours

B. Assessing the Importance of Specific Actions

4. Effects of Alcohol Use During Pregnancy

A. Beliefs about the Effects of Alcohol Use

B. Beliefs about the Effects of Specific Amounts of Alcohol

5. Recall of Information About the Effects of Alcohol Use

6. Awareness of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effects

A. Awareness of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

B. Awareness of Fetal Alcohol Effects

7. Information Sources

8. Support for Initiatives to Provide Information About the Risks of Alcohol Use

9. Women and Their Partners

A. Alcohol Use During Pregnancy

B. Influence of Partner on Alcohol Use During Pregnancy

10. Men and their Partners

11. Communications Implications

Appendices
Survey Methods
Questionnaire


1. Introduction

In November 1999, Environics Research Group Limited was retained by Health Canada to conduct a benchmark survey of key population segments, to measure knowledge of the effects of alcohol use during pregnancy and awareness of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE). The population segments included women, aged 18 to 40, and partners of women, aged 18 to 40. This age group represents women in their child-bearing years, and partners of women in this age group, who would be the key target groups of a campaign to raise awareness and knowledge of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

Environics conducted a nation-wide survey of 1,205 respondents, including 902 women and 303 men. The margin of error for the sample of women is ±3.3 percentage points, 19 times in 20; the margin of error for the sample of men is ±5.8 percentage points. The survey was conducted between November 26 and December 9, 1999.

The survey examined knowledge and beliefs about alcohol use during pregnancy, awareness of FAS and FAE, recall of information and preference for information sources about the impact of alcohol, support for public information initiatives, and the expected behaviours of women and partners of women, during pregnancy.

This report presents the findings of the survey and recommendations regarding directions for communications initiatives. The survey methods and the English questionnaireused in the survey is appended to this report. Statistical tables are presented under separate cover.

2. Summary of Findings

The major findings of the survey are:

  • There is a high level of knowledge that alcohol use during pregnancy is harmful to the child, and the more consumption the more harmful and likely the effects, but there is confusion about the safety of "small amounts" of alcohol.
  • There is high awareness of FAS and FAE - most respondents have heard of the terms - but there is little knowledge of what these are.
  • Most women say they would stop or cut back alcohol use if they were to become pregnant. The effect of male partners is apparent on "positive" side - women are most receptive to support and encouragement from their spouses to stop or cut back.
  • Almost three-quarters of respondents recall seeing information about the effects of alcohol use on a child during pregnancy; almost half say a doctor's office would be their best source of information about the topic.
  • There is substantial public support for initiatives to inform about the risks of alcohol use, including government-sponsored advertising, warning messages on alcohol advertising, warning labels on alcohol products, and others.
  • Men in general are somewhat more likely than women to think that alcohol use during pregnancy is safe.
  • Women with lower levels of education are somewhat less knowledgeable about the risks of alcohol use during pregnancy than those with higher levels of education.
  • Quebec women are significantly more likely than women outside Quebec to think that alcohol use during pregnancy is safe.
  • Women who have greater alcohol consumption (as measured by number of drinks per week) are more likely than those who drink less to think that alcohol consumption during pregnancy is safe.

A detailed summary of findings is as follows:

  • When asked, in an open-ended question, to name important things that women can do to increase the likelihood of having a healthy baby, majorities of respondents mention good nutrition (75%), cutting down on or stopping smoking (63%) and cutting down on or stopping alcohol use (52%). One-quarter (25%) mention increasing or maintaining physical activity. About one in ten each mention cutting down on or stopping drug use (14%) and visiting a doctor or health professional (11%). Much smaller proportions mention other behaviours.
  • When asked specifically about the importance of a number of behaviours, majorities say cutting down on or stopping smoking (63%), cutting down on or stopping using alcohol (60%) and eating nutritious food (54%) are one of the most important things that pregnant women might do to increase the likelihood that their baby will be born healthy. Significant minorities also say the same of visiting a doctor or health professional regularly (42%) and avoiding second-hand smoke (36%). Much smaller proportions place the same degree of importance on avoiding environmental pollution (22%), avoiding stressful situations (19%) and reducing strenuous physical activity (12%).
  • There is unanimous belief that the more alcohol a pregnant woman drinks, the more likely that the baby will be harmed (98%) and that the more alcohol a pregnant woman drinks, the more harm that may be done to the baby (98%). There is less belief, although still at a majority level, that any alcohol consumption during pregnancy can harm the baby (66%). A slight majority, however, believe that a small amount of alcohol use during pregnancy can usually be considered safe (51%). Much smaller proportions believe that alcohol use before a pregnancy begins can harm a baby, even if a woman stops alcohol use during the pregnancy (39%), that a small amount of alcohol consumption during pregnancy would never lead to serious harm to the baby (30%) and that a moderate amount of alcohol consumption during pregnancy can usually be considered safe (25%).
  • There is almost unanimous belief that alcohol use during pregnancy can lead to life-long disabilities in a child (89%). Similarly, most (82%) do not believe that the effects of alcohol use on a child disappear as the child grows older.
  • When asked about specific amounts of alcohol consumption in terms of its effect on a baby that is born, seven in ten each think that it is not at all safe for a pregnant woman to drink one alcoholic drink each day during the pregnancy (69%) or three or four alcoholic drinks each weekend during the pregnancy (68%). However, opinion is divided on the use of smaller amounts of alcohol, such as drinking two alcoholic drinks on two or three different occasions during the pregnancy (47% say this is safe; 52% say this is unsafe) or a total of one or two alcoholic drinks during the pregnancy (65% say this is safe; 34% say this is unsafe).
  • Seven in ten respondents (72%) recall seeing information about the effects of alcohol use on a baby during pregnancy. Among those who recall information, the largest proportions say they saw this information in brochures/pamphlets (33%) and media programs/articles in newspapers/ magazines (33%). Smaller numbers mention television advertising (24%), a doctor or health care professional (20%), books (15%), a poster (12%), magazine advertising (11%), infant care groups/ classes (6%), school/special classes such as CPR (6%) and personal experience/word of mouth (5%).
  • Seven in ten respondents (71%) report awareness of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, but detailed knowledge of what FAS actually involves is much more limited. The largest proportion of these say Fetal Alcohol Syndrome refers to the effects of alcohol on a fetus (34%). Smaller numbers mention that the baby is addicted to alcohol/experiences withdrawal (22%), harmful/ill effects in general (13%), delayed development (11%), physical disorders (11%), learning disabilities (10%), birth defects/deformities (10%), brain damage (9%), mental disorders (8%), cranial/ facial deformities (8%), lower I.Q./retardation (7%), behavioural problems (7%) and low birth weight (5%).
  • Fewer respondents (56%), express awareness of Fetal Alcohol Effects, but detailed knowledge is much more limited. Among those who express awareness, the most common descriptions are physical disorders (17%), baby addicted to alcohol/experiences withdrawal (14%), learning disabilities (14%), brain damage (10%) and delayed development (10%). Fewer mention lower I.Q./ retardation/Down's Syndrome (8%), effect of alcohol on fetus (8%), cranial/facial deformities (8%), mental disorders (7%), behavioural problems (7%), low birth weight (6%), Attention Deficit Disorder/hyperactivity (6%), psychological/emotional problems (6%), birth defects (6%), unhealthy child (5%), growth problems (5%) and fetal/infant organ/respiratory damage (5%).
  • The largest number of respondents (47%) say a doctor or doctor's office would be the best source of information about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and about the effects of alcohol use during pregnancy. Much smaller proportions would first look to books or magazines (10%), health clinics/hospitals (9%), TV programs or advertisements (8%), Internet sources (5%) and Health Canada/ flyers and pamphlets (4%).
  • When asked an open-ended question about other good sources of information on this topic, the largest proportion mention books or magazines (28%), followed by a doctor or doctor's office (21%), health clinics/hospitals (18%), Internet sources (18%), TV programs (12%), Health Canada/flyers and pamphlets (7%), public health organizations/programs (7%), library (6%), newspapers (5%) and pre-natal class (5%).
  • Overwhelming numbers of 78 percent or more are supportive overall of a number of initiatives to provide information about the risks of alcohol use during pregnancy.
  • Large majorities of respondents strongly approve of government-sponsored advertising describing the effects and warning about the risks of alcohol use during pregnancy (78%), requiring messages on alcohol advertising warning about the risks of alcohol use during pregnancy (73%) and requiring labels on alcohol products warning about the risks of alcohol use during pregnancy (66%). A smaller number, but still a majority, strongly approve of requiring signs in bars and clubs warning about the risks of alcohol use during pregnancy (55%). Less than a majority (40%) strongly approve of requiring signs in restaurants warning about the risks of alcohol use during pregnancy.
  • Six in ten women (62%) say they would stop alcohol use if they were to become pregnant. Another 11 percent say they would cut back on their alcohol use. Only four percent say they would not change their alcohol use. A total of 23 percent say they don't use alcohol now.
  • Women are most likely to say they would lower their alcohol use during their pregnancy if their spouse or partner encouraged them to stop or cut back their alcohol use during their pregnancy (39%). The same number (39%) say this would not affect their alcohol use. Majorities of women say they would not be affected one way or the other by other actions on the part of their partners, including their partner continuing to drink during their pregnancy (69% say this would have no effect on their use of alcohol), offering them a drink during their pregnancy (61%), or stopping drinking during their pregnancy (57%). Almost no women say they would be more likely to drink alcohol, even if their spouse were to offer it to them or continue to drink themselves.
  • Seven in ten men (71%) say they would be very likely to encourage their pregnant spouse or partner to stop or cut back on her alcohol use during the pregnancy. Men are much less likely to say they would stop drinking alcohol themselves during their partner's pregnancy.
  • Quebec women differ from women outside Quebec in a number of areas; they are less likely to mention cutting down or stopping alcohol use as a behaviour to increase the likelihood of having a healthy baby and are less likely to think that smaller amounts of alcohol will be harmful. Quebecers are also less likely to recall information about the effects of alcohol use on a baby during pregnancy and to be aware of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effects. Quebec women are less likely to stop using alcohol if they become pregnant, and Quebec men are less willing to encourage their spouse or partner to stop alcohol use during pregnancy or to stop alcohol consumption themselves.
  • Women who drink more alcohol are more likely to believe that small amounts of alcohol consumption during pregnancy would never lead to serious harm to the baby and are less likely to believe that any alcohol consumption during pregnancy can harm the baby.

The detailed findings on each topic are discussed in the following sections.

 

3.0 BEHAVIOURS TO INCREASE LIKELIHOOD OF HAVING HEALTHY BABY

A.  Top-of-Mind Awareness of Behaviours

Top-of-mind, majorities of respondents think good nutrition, cutting down on or stopping smoking and cutting down on or stopping alcohol use are the most important things pregnant women can do to increase their likelihood of having a healthy baby.

Good nutrition, cutting down on or stopping smoking and cutting down on or stopping alcohol use are seen as the most important behaviours that pregnant women can do to increase their likelihood of having a healthy baby.

In this open-ended question, respondents were asked to name, without any prompting or anything suggested to them, the behaviours that they think are important for pregnant women to increase infant health.

Top-of-mind, majorities of respondents mention good nutrition (75%), cutting down on or stopping smoking (63%) and cutting down on or stopping alcohol use (52%) as the most important things that pregnant women can do to increase the likelihood that their baby will be born healthy. One-quarter (25%) mention increasing or maintaining physical activity. About one in ten each mention cutting down on or stopping drug use (14%) and visiting a doctor or health professional (11%). Much smaller proportions mention other behaviours.

Men are more likely than women to say cutting down on or stopping using alcohol is an important thing that pregnant women can do to increase the likelihood that their baby will be born healthy. Among women, those aged 25 to 29 and those with the lowest levels of education and income are less likely to mention this.

Quebec women are less likely to mention cutting down on or stopping using alcohol; Alberta women are more likely to mention this.

Behaviour to Increase Likelihood of Having a Healthy Baby
Top-of-mind December 1999
  TOTAL WOMEN MEN
Eat well/good nutrition/vitamins 75 78 66
Cut down/stop smoking 63 61 71
Cut down/stop alcohol use 52 50 58
Increase/maintain exercise 25 26 22
Cut down/stop drug use (marijuana, crack, heroin, etc.) 14 14 15
Visit doctor/health professional 11 13 6
Reduce exercise 5 5 5
Avoid stress 4 4 3
Avoid environmental pollution 2 2 1
Take pre-natal class 2 2 *
Sleep well/enough 2 2 2
Avoid second hand smoke 1 1 2
Positive mental attitude 1 1 *
Talk to friends/family/social support 1 1 1
Take folic acid 1 2 *
Learn about infant care * 1 0
Other 3 3 4
dk/na 1 1 2
*Less than one percent Note: Multiple answers possible

Q.1 Thinking about healthy infants and children, what, in your opinion, are the most important things that pregnant women can do to increase the likelihood that their baby will be born healthy?

B. Assessing the Importance of Specific Actions

Majorities say cutting down on or stopping smoking, cutting down on or stopping using alcohol and eating nutritious food are one of the most important things that pregnant women might do to increase the likelihood that they will have a healthy baby.

When asked about the importance of specific actions, once again, respondents say that cutting down on or stopping smoking, cutting down on or stopping alcohol use and eating nutritious food are among the most important things that pregnant women might do to increase the likelihood that they will have a healthy baby.

Looking at strongly held opinions on this question, majorities say cutting down on or stopping smoking (63%), cutting down on or stopping using alcohol (60%) and eating nutritious food (54%) are one of the most important things that pregnant women can do to increase the likelihood that their baby will be born healthy. Significant minorities also say the same of visiting a doctor or health professional regularly (42%) and avoiding second-hand smoke (36%). Much smaller proportions place the same degree of importance on avoiding environmental pollution (22%), avoiding stressful situations (19%) and reducing strenuous physical activity (12%).

Quebec women are less likely to say that cutting down on or stopping alcohol use is one of the most important things that pregnant women might do to increase the likelihood that their baby will be born healthy; Alberta women are more likely to feel this way.

Assessing the Importance of Specific Actions
December 1999
  Total Women Men
Cut down or stop smoking      
One of most important 63 63 63
Very important 35 35 35
Less important 2 2 2
Not at all important * * *
dk/na 0
Cut down or stop using alcohol      
One of most important 60 61 57
Very important 38 38 38
Less important 2 1 5
Not at all important * * 0
dk/na 0 0 0
Eat nutritious food      
One of most important 54 55 49
Very important 46 44 50
Less important 1 * 1
Not at all important 0 0 0
dk/na 0
Visit a doctor or health professional on a regular basis
One of most important 42 45 34
Very important 54 52 59
Less important 4 3 7
Not at all important 0
dk/na 0
Avoid second-hand smoke      
One of most important 36 36 36
Very important 54 54 53
Less important 9 9 10
Not at all important * * 1
dk/na
Avoid environmental pollution      
One of most important 22 20 25
Very important 58 59 54
Less important 19 18 19
Not at all important 2 2 1
dk/na 1 1 1
Avoid stressful situations      
One of most important 19 19 17
Very important 59 60 58
Less important 21 20 24
Not at all important * 1 *
dk/na 1 1 1
Reduce strenuous physical activity      
One of most important 12 13 8
Very important 41 41 43
Less important 39 38 40
Not at all important 7 6 9
dk/na 1 1 *

*Less than one percent

Q.2 Here are some things that pregnant women might do to increase the likelihood that their baby will be born healthy. In your opinion, is each of the following one of the most important things to do, a very important thing to do, a less important thing to do or not at all important to do?

 EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL USE DURING PREGNANCY

A.   Beliefs about the Effects of Alcohol Use

There is unanimous belief that the more alcohol a pregnant women drinks the more harm this may have on the baby and that alcohol use during pregnancy can lead to life-long disabilities in a child. However, opinion is divided as to the impact of small amounts of alcohol.

Respondents show a high awareness that more alcohol use is harmful, and that alcohol use can cause lifelong disabilities in a child. However, there is a division of opinion as to the impact of small amounts of alcohol use.

There is unanimous belief that the more alcohol a pregnant woman drinks, the more likely that the baby will be harmed (98%) and that the more alcohol a pregnant woman drinks, the more harm that may be done to the baby (98%). There is less belief, although still at a majority level, that any alcohol consumption during pregnancy can harm the baby (66%).

A slight majority, however, believe that a small amount of alcohol use during pregnancy can usually be considered safe (51%); 46 percent disagree.

Much smaller proportions believe that alcohol use before a pregnancy begins can harm a baby, even if a woman stops alcohol use during the pregnancy (39%), that a small amount of alcohol consumption during pregnancy would never lead to serious harm to the baby (30%) and that a moderate amount of alcohol consumption during pregnancy can usually be considered safe (25%).

Men are more likely than women to believe that small or moderate amounts of alcohol consumption during pregnancy can usually be considered safe and that a small amount of alcohol consumption would never lead to serious harm to the baby, and are less likely to believe that any alcohol consumption during pregnancy can harm the baby.

Looking specifically at women, we find that younger women and those who don't drink are less likely to think that small amounts of alcohol consumption during pregnancy can usually be considered safe. Those with a university education and those who don't drink are less likely to think that a moderate amount of alcohol consumption is safe. Those aged 18 to 24, those with higher levels of education and those who are not mothers are less likely to think that a small amount of alcohol consumption during pregnancy would never lead to serious harm to the baby. Those aged 18 to 29 and those who don't drink are more likely to believe that any alcohol consumption during pregnancy can harm the baby. Women who drink are less likely to believe that any consumption can be harmful.

Quebec women are more likely to believe that small or moderate amounts of alcohol consumption during pregnancy can usually be considered safe; women in Atlantic Canada are less likely to believe either of these two statements. Quebec women are also more likely to think a small amount of alcohol consumption during pregnancy would never lead to serious harm to the baby; women from Atlantic Canada and Alberta are less likely to agree with this view. Quebec women are less likely to believe that any alcohol consumption during pregnancy can harm the baby; women from Atlantic Canada and Alberta are more likely to believe this statement.

There is almost unanimous belief that alcohol use during pregnancy can lead to life-long disabilities in a child (89%). Similarly, most (82%) do not believe that the effects of alcohol use on a child usually disappear as the child grows older.

Less educated women are less likely to disagree that most of the effects of alcohol use on a child usually disappear as the child grows older.

Quebec women are less likely than other Canadian women to believe that alcohol use during pregnancy can lead to life-long disabilities in a child; Western Canadian women are more likely to agree with this view. Quebec women are also less likely to disagree that most of the effects of alcohol use on a child usually disappear as the child grows older; Western Ca-nadian women are more inclined to disagree with this view.

Beliefs about the Effects of alcohol Use
December 1999
TOTAL   WOMEN   MEN
The more alcohol a pregnant woman drinks,the more likely that the baby will be harmed.        
True 98   98   99
Not true 1   1   1
dk/na *   *   0
The more alcohol a pregnant woman drinks,the more harm may be done to the baby.        
True 98   98   97
Not true 2   2   3
dk/na *   *   1
     
alcohol use during pregnancy can lead to life-long disabilities in a child.          
True 89   89   87
Not true 8   8   9
dk/na 3   3   4
Any alcohol consumption during pregnancy can harm the baby.
True 66   68   59
Not true 33   31   40
dk/na 1   1   1
 
A small amount of alcohol use during pregnancy can usually be considered safe.          
True 51   49   57
Not true 46   49   40
dk/na 2   2   3
alcohol use before a pregnancy begins can harm a baby, even if a woman stops alcohol use during the pregnancy.
True 39   39   37
Not true 53   53   54
dk/na 8   8   9
     
A small amount of alcohol consumption during pregnancy would never lead to serious harm to the baby.        
True 30   28   35
Not true 66   68   59
dk/na 4   4   6
     
A moderate amount of alcohol consumption during pregnancy can usually be considered safe.        
True 25   23   30
Not true 73   75   68
dk/na 2   2   2
     
Most of the effects of alcohol use on a child usually disappear as the child grows older.          
True 9   8   9
Not true 82   82   80
dk/na 10   9   10

*Less than one percent

Q.3 Please tell me if you think each of the following statements about alcohol use during pregnancy and its effect on a baby that is born is true or is not true?

Q.9 Is each of the following statements true or not true?

B.   Beliefs about the Effects of Specific Amounts of Alcohol

There is unanimous belief that one alcoholic drink each day or three or four alcoholic drinks each weekend during a pregnancy are unsafe for the baby. However, opinion is divided as to whether two alcoholic drinks on two or three different occasions or a total of one or two drinks during the pregnancy are safe.

When asked about specific amounts of alcohol consumption, respondents have a high awareness about the negative effect of large amounts of alcohol on the baby, but are again divided as to whether there are harmful effects of smaller amounts of alcohol use.

When asked about specific amounts of alcohol consumption in terms of its effect on a baby that is born, seven in ten respondents believe it is not at all safe for a pregnant woman to drink one alcoholic drink each day during the pregnancy (69%) or three or four alcoholic drinks each weekend during the pregnancy (68%).

However, opinion is divided as to the effect of smaller amounts of alcohol, such as drinking two alcoholic drinks on two or three different occasions during the pregnancy (47% say this is safe; 52% say this is unsafe) or a total of one or two alcoholic drinks during the pregnancy (65% say this is safe; 34% say this is unsafe).

Women are much more likely than men to think that one alcoholic drink each day during the pregnancy or three or four alcoholic drinks each weekend during the pregnancy are not safe. It should be noted that younger women are more likely to think all of the amounts of alcohol surveyed are not safe. Women who drink more are less likely to think any of these amounts of alcohol are not safe.

Quebec women are less likely to think any of these amounts of alcohol are not safe, with the exception of one alcoholic drink each day during the pregnancy. Alberta women are more likely to think all of the amounts are not safe.

Beliefs about the Effects of Specific Amounts of Alcohol During Pregnancy
December 1999
TOTAL WOMEN MEN
One alcoholic drink each day      
Very safe 1 2
Somewhat safe 6 4 10
Not very safe 25 23 31
Not at all safe 69 72 58
dk/na * * *
Three or four alcoholic drinks each weekend    
Very safe 1 * 1
Somewhat safe 4 3 7
Not very safe 27 25 32
Not at all safe 68 71 59
dk/na * * 0
Two alcoholic drinks on two or three different occasions
Very safe 12 11 16
Somewhat safe 35 34 38
Not very safe 25 26 22
Not at all safe 27 28 24
dk/na 1 1 1
A total of one or two alcoholic drinks      
Very safe 27 26 32
Somewhat safe 38 39 38
Not very safe 14 15 13
Not at all safe 20 21 17
dk/na 0

*Less than one percent

Q.4 In terms of its effect on a baby that is born, do you think it would be very safe, somewhat safe, not very safe or not at all safe for a pregnant woman to drink each of the following amounts of alcohol?

5.0 RECALL OF INFORMATION ABOUT THE EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL USE

Seven in ten recall seeing information about the effects of alcohol use on a baby during pregnancy. The largest proportion of these have seen this information in brochures/pamphlets and media programs/articles in newspapers or magazines.

There is significant recall of information about the effects of alcohol use on a baby during pregnancy. Brochures/pamphlets and media programs/articles in newspapers or magazines are the most frequently cited sources of this information.

Seven in ten respondents (72%) recall seeing information about the effects of alcohol use on a baby during pregnancy. Three in ten (28%) do not recall seeing any information on this topic.

Women, especially those with higher levels of education and income and those who are mothers, are more likely than men to recall seeing information about the effects of alcohol use on a baby during pregnancy.

Quebec women are less likely to recall any such information - only 56 percent of Quebec women have seen any information.

Among those who recall information, the largest proportions say they saw this information in brochures/pamphlets (33%) and media programs/articles in newspapers/magazines (33%). Smaller numbers mention television advertising (24%), a doctor or health care professional (20%), books (15%), a poster (12%), magazine advertising (11%), infant care groups/classes (6%), school/special classes such as CPR (6%) and personal experience/word of mouth (5%). Fewer mention other information sources.

Women are more likely than men to mention brochures/pamphlets, a doctor/health care professional, books, a poster, magazine advertising and school/special classes. Men are more likely than women to mention media programs/articles in newspapers/magazines and television advertising.

Recall of Information about the Effects of alcohol Use
December 1999
TOTAL WOMEN MEN
TOTAL SAMPLE      
Recall seeing any information      
Yes 72 74 64
No 28 25 36
dk/na * * 0
RECALL SEEING INFORMATION      
Kind of information      
Brochure/pamphlet 33 34 27
Media programs/articles      
   in newspapers, magazines 33 31 38
Television advertising 24 23 28
Doctor/health care professional 20 21 15
Books 15 16 11
Poster 12 13 7
Magazine advertising 11 12 7
School/special classes 6 7 3
Infant care groups/classes 6 6 6
Personal experience/word of mouth 5 5 5
alcohol bottles/vendors 4 4 3
Radio 2 2 3
Work 2 2 1
Presentation/seminar 1 2 *
Internet 1 1 1
Other 1 1 2
dk/na 3 1 9

*Less than one percent   Note: Multiple answers possible

Q.5a Do you recall seeing any information about the effects of alcohol use on a baby during pregnancy?

Q.5b What kind of information was it?

When we look specifically at women, we find that the most affluent women are more likely to mention books, and those aged 18 to 24 and those with university education are more likely to mention school/ special classes. Mothers are more likely to mention brochures/pamphlets and a doctor or health care professional.

Quebec women who have seen information are less likely to mention brochures/pamphlets, television advertising, posters and school/special classes, but are more likely to mention books and infant care groups/ classes. Women from Western and Atlantic Canada are more likely than others to mention television advertising. Alberta women are more likely to mention a doctor or a health care professional and Brit-ish Columbia women are more likely to mention a poster and alcohol bottles or vendors.

6.0 Awareness of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effects

A.   Awareness of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Seven in ten report awareness of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Of these, the largest proportion say Fetal Alcohol Syndrome refers to the effects of alcohol on the fetus.

Respondents report a high level of awareness of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, but detailed knowledge of what FAS actually involves is much more limited.

Seven in ten respondents (71%) say they have heard of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Three in ten (29%) say they have not.

Among those who report some awareness, the largest proportion say Fetal Alcohol Syndrome refers generally to the effects of alcohol on a fetus (34%). Others mention that the baby is addicted to alcohol/ experiences withdrawal (22%), or harmful/ill effects in general (13%). Much smaller numbers say FAS involves delayed development (11%), physical disorders (11%), learning disabilities (10%), birth defects/ deformities (10%), brain damage (9%), mental disorders (8%), cranial/facial deformities (8%), lower I.Q./retardation (7%), behavioural problems (7%) and low birth weight (5%). Fewer mention other descriptions. Fourteen percent of those who say they are aware of FAS offer no description of it.

Women, especially the most educated and most affluent, are slightly more likely than men to be aware of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Less educated women are less likely to give detailed knowledge of what FAS actually involves while more highly educated women are more likely to mention physical disorders, delayed development, cranial/facial deformities and behavioural problems.

Only 32 percent of Quebec women are aware of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Atlantic Canadian women are less likely than others to have detailed knowledge of what FAS actually involves. Quebec women who are aware are more likely to mention that it involves a baby addicted to alcohol.

Awareness of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
December 1999
TOTAL WOMEN MEN
TOTAL SAMPLE      
Heard of      
Yes 71 72 68
No 29 28 32
dk/na * * *
HEARD OF FAS      
What is FAS?      
Effects of alcohol on fetus 34 34 34
Baby addicted/      
   experiences withdrawal 22 22 24
Harmful/ill effects 13 13 12
Physical disorders 11 11 13
Delayed development 11 10 13
Learning disabilities 10 11 6
Birth defects/deformities 10 9 12
Brain damage 9 8 10
Mental disorders 8 8 8
Cranial/facial deformities 8 9 4
Behavioural problems 7 7 6
Lower IQ/retardation 7 7 7
Low birth weight 5 5 4
Attention deficit disorder 4 4 3
Born with alcohol in system 3 3 3
Growth problems 2 2 1
Premature birth 1 1 *
Other 1 1 1
dk/na 14 13 15

* Less than one percent  Note:   Multiple answers possible

Q.6a Have you ever heard of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?

Q.6b Can you tell me what Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is?
Subsample: Have heard of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

B. Awareness of Fetal Alcohol Effects

Just under six in ten respondents report awareness of Fetal Alcohol Effects. Of these, the most common descriptions are physical disorders, baby addicted to alcohol/experiences withdrawal, learning disabilities, brain damage and delayed development.

Fewer respondents, but still a majority, express awareness of Fetal Alcohol Effects. As with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, detailed knowledge of what FAE is tends to be much more limited.

Just under six in ten respondents (56%) have heard of Fetal Alcohol Effects. More than four in ten (43%) say they have not.

Among those who report awareness, the most common descriptions are physical disorders (17%), baby addicted to alcohol/experiences withdrawal (14%), learning disabilities (14%), brain damage (10%) and delayed development (10%). Fewer mention lower I.Q./retardation/Down's Syndrome (8%), effect of alcohol on fetus (8%), cranial/facial deformities (8%), mental disorders (7%), behavioural problems (7%), low birth weight (6%), Attention Deficit Disorder/ hyperactivity (6%), psychological/emotional problems (6%), birth defects (6%), unhealthy child (5%), growth problems (5%) and fetal/infant organ/respiratory damage (5%). Seventeen percent of those who say they are aware offer no description.

Women, especially those who are older and better educated, are much more likely than men to express awareness of Fetal Alcohol Effects and to give more detailed knowledge of what Fetal Alcohol Effects involves.

Only 41 percent of Quebec women are aware of Fetal Alcohol Effects. Quebec women who are aware are more likely to think FAE involves a baby addicted to alcohol, birth defects and an unhealthy child, but are less likely to mention learning disabilities and cranial/facial deformities.

Awareness of Fetal Alcohol Effects
December 1999
TOTAL WOMEN MEN
TOTAL SAMPLE      
Heard of      
Yes 56 64 34
No 43 36 65
dk/na * * 1
HEARD OF FAE      
What are fetal alcohol effects?      
Physical disorders 17 18 15
Baby addicted/      
   experiences withdrawal 14 14 14
Learning disabilities 14 14 11
Brain damage 10 11 7
Delayed development 10 12 0
Lower IQ/retardation/      
   Down's syndrome 8 9 5
Effects of alcohol on fetus 8 9 3
Cranial/facial deformities 8 9 1
Mental disorders 7 7 5
Behavioural problems 7 6 7
Attention deficit disorder/      
   hyperactivity 6 7 3
Low birth weight 6 7 2
Psychological/emotional problems 6 5 9
Birth defects 6 4 12
Unhealthy child 5 5 7
Fetal/infant organ/respiratory damage 5 5 3
Growth problems 5 4 9
Effects less than FAS 3 4 1
Premature birth 3 4 1
Fetus/infant mortality/SIDS 1 2
Other 3 3 4
dk/na 17 14 30

*Less than one percent   Note: Multiple answers possible

Q.7a Have you ever heard of fetal alcohol effects?

Q.7b Can you tell me what fetal alcohol effects are?
Subsample: Have heard of fetal alcohol effects

7.0 INFORMATION SOURCES

Almost half of respondents say a doctor or doctor's office would be the best source of information about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and about the effects of alcohol use during pregnancy.

Respondents are most likely to mention that, for them, a doctor or doctor's office is the best source of information about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and about the effects of alcohol use during pregnancy.

The largest number of respondents (47%) say a doctor or doctor's office would be the best source of information for them to learn about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and about the effects of alcohol use during pregnancy. Much smaller proportions would first look to books or magazines (10%), health clinics/hospitals (9%), TV programs or advertisements (8%), Internet sources (5%) Health Canada/flyers and pamphlets (4%). Fewer mention other sources of information and five percent offer no opinion.

When asked about other good sources of information on this topic, the largest proportion mention books or magazines (28%), followed by a doctor or doctor's office (21%), health clinics/hospitals (18%), Internet sources (18%), TV programs or advertisements (16%), library/school (9%), Health Canada/flyers and pamphlets (7%), public health organizations/programs (7%), newspapers (5%) and pre-natal class (5%). Fewer mention other sources of information and nine percent offer no opinion.

Women, especially those aged 30 to 34 and those who are among the most affluent, are slightly more likely than men to mention a doctor or doctor's office as the best source of information about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Men are more likely than women to mention Internet sources.

Quebec women are slightly less likely than other women to mention a doctor or doctor's office, but are more likely to mention health clinics or hospitals as the best source of information.

Best Sources of Information about FAS/Effects of alcohol Use
December 1999
BEST SOURCES OTHER SOURCES
TOTAL WOMEN MEN TOTAL WOMEN MEN
Doctor/doctor's office 47 48 43 21 22 20
Books/magazines 10 11 7 28 29 25
Health clinic/hospital 9 9 10 18 18 18
TV programs/advertisements 8 7 10 16 16 14
Internet sources 5 3 10 18 17 20
Health Canada/flyers and pamphlets 4 4 5 7 6 9
Public health organizations 1 2 1 7 7 5
Library/school 1 1 * 9 10 8
Newspapers 1 1 2 5 5 6
Pre-natal class 1 1 1 5 5 4
Other media 1 1 * 3 3 5
Through friends/family 1 1 1 3 3 3
Workplace 1 1 0 1 1 0
Pharmacy/drug store * * 0 3 3 2
alcohol bottles/vendors 0 0 0 2 2 2
Posters/billboards 0 0 0 2 1 3
Journals 0 0 0 1 2 1
Other 1 1 2 2 2 1
dk/na 5 5 4 9 8 10

*Less than one percent   Note: Multiple answers possible

Q.8a What for you would be the best source of information about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and about the effects of alcohol use during pregnancy?

Q.8b Are there any other good sources for you to find this information?

8.0 SUPPORT FOR INITATIVES TO PROVIDE INFORMATION ABOUT THE RISKS OF alcohol USE

Overwhelming numbers of respondents approve of a number of initiatives to provide information about the risks of alcohol use during pregnancy.

Overwhelming numbers of 78 percent or more of respondents are supportive overall of a number of initiatives to provide information about the risks of alcohol use during pregnancy.

In addition, large majorities strongly approve of government-sponsored advertising describing the effects and warning about the risks of alcohol use during pregnancy (78%), requiring messages on alcohol advertising warning about the risks of alcohol use during pregnancy (73%) and requiring labels on alcohol products warning about the risks of alcohol use during pregnancy (66%). A smaller number, but still a majority, strongly approve of requiring signs in bars and clubs warning about the risks of alcohol use during pregnancy (55%). Less than a majority (40%) strongly approve of requiring signs in restaurants warning about the risks of alcohol use during pregnancy.

Women, especially those who are older, mothers, and those who drink less, are more likely than men to strongly approve of all of the initiatives to provide information about the risks of alcohol use. Highly educated women are less likely to strongly approve of all of these initiatives, the only exception being the initiative involving government-sponsored advertising.

Atlantic Canadian women are more likely to strongly approve of most of these initiatives. British Colum-bia women are more likely to strongly approve of requiring signs in restaurants and in bars and clubs warning about the risks of alcohol use during pregnancy. Quebec women are less likely to strongly approve of requiring labels on alcohol products warning about the risks of alcohol use during pregnancy.

Initiatives to Provide Information about Risks of alcohol Use
December 1999
TOTAL WOMEN MEN   TOTAL WOMEN MEN
Government-sponsored advertising       Requiring warning signs in bars and clubs    
Strongly approve 78 81 70 Strongly approve 55 57 46
Somewhat approve 19 17 25 Somewhat approve 28 26 31
Somewhat disapprove 2 2 2 Somewhat disapprove 11 10 12
Strongly disapprove 1 1 3 Strongly disapprove 7 6 10
dk/na * * 0 dk/na * * *
Requiring warning messages on alcohol advertising   Requiring warning signs in restaurants  
Strongly approve 73 76 62 Strongly approve 40 42 33
Somewhat approve 22 20 29 Somewhat approve 38 37 38
Somewhat disapprove 3 3 5 Somewhat disapprove 14 13 16
Strongly disapprove 2 1 4 Strongly disapprove 8 7 12
dk/na 0 0 0 dk/na * * *
Requiring warning labels on alcohol products            
Strongly approve 66 69 57        
Somewhat approve 24 22 30        
Somewhat disapprove 7 6 8        
Strongly disapprove 4 3 5        
dk/na * * 0        

*Less than one percent

Q.10 Do you strongly approve, somewhat approve, somewhat disapprove or strongly disapprove of each of the following requiring labels on alcohol products warning about the risks of alcohol use during pregnancy ... requiring signs in restaurants warning about the risks of alcohol use during pregnancy ... requiring signs in bars and clubs warning about the risks of alcohol use during pregnancy government-sponsored advertising describing the effects and warning about the risks of alcohol use during pregnancy ... requiring messages on alcohol advertising warning about the risks of alcohol use during pregnancy?

9.0 WOMEN AND THEIR PARTNERS

A.   Alcohol Use During Pregnancy

A total of 85 percent of women say they would not drink alcohol during pregnancy.

Most women respondents say they would not consume alcohol if they were to become pregnant.

Six in ten women (62%) say they would stop alcohol use if they were to become pregnant and another 23 percent say they don't use alcohol now. Another 11 percent say they would cut back on their alcohol use. Only four percent say they would not change their alcohol use.

In the survey, a total of 48 percent of women say they are currently pregnant (6%) or might become pregnant in the future (42%). Fully 88 percent of women who anticipate pregnancy say they would stop consuming (70%) or currently don't use alcohol (18%). Seventy-eight percent of women who are now pregnant say they have stopped (46%) or do not consume alcohol (32%).

Better educated women and those aged 18 to 24 are more likely to say they would stop alcohol use if they were to become pregnant. However, less educated women are more likely to say they don't drink. More affluent women and those who drink more are more likely than others to say they would just cut back on their alcohol use.

Quebec women are much less likely than women in other provinces to say they would stop alcohol use, and are more likely than others to say they would just cut back on their alcohol use.

Women: Alcohol Use During Pregnancy
December 1999
TOTAL CURRENTLY FUTURE
WOMEN PREGNANT PREGNANCY
No change 4 7 3
Cut back 11 15 10
Stop 62 46 70
Don't use alcohol now 23 32 18
dk/na * 0 0

*Less than one percent

Q.13 If you were to become pregnant, would you ... not change your alcohol use ... cut back on your alcohol use, or ... stop alcohol use? Subsample: Women

B.   Influence of Partner on Alcohol Use During Pregnancy

Women are most likely to say they would lower their alcohol use during their pregnancy if their spouse or partner encouraged them to stop or cut back.

Women are more likely to say they would lower their alcohol use during their pregnancy if encouraged by their spouse to do so. Most say they would not be influenced one way or the other by their partners' continuing use of alcohol or by their partner offering them a drink during their pregnancy.

Women are most likely to say they would lower their alcohol use during their pregnancy if their spouse or partner encouraged them to stop or cut back their alcohol use during their pregnancy (39%). The same number (39%) say this would not affect their alcohol use.

Majorities of women say they would not be influenced one way or the other by other actions on the part of their partners, including their partner continuing to drink during their pregnancy (69% say this would have no effect on their use of alcohol), offering them a drink during their pregnancy (61%), or stopping drinking during their pregnancy (57%). Almost no women say they would be more likely to drink alcohol, even if their spouse were to offer it to them or continue to drink themselves.

Women aged 18 to 24, those who are better educated and those who drink more are more likely to be influenced by their spouse's encouragement and by their spouse's own efforts to stop consuming alcohol.

Influence of Partner on Women's alcohol Use During Pregnancy
December 1999
TOTAL CURRENTLY FUTURE
WOMEN PREGNANT PREGNANCY
If your spouse/partner      
   encouraged you to stop or      
   cut down alcohol use      
More likely to drink 7 8 4
Less likely to drink 39 27 45
No difference 39 41 39
Don't drink alcohol 15 24 12
dk/na * 0 0
If your spouse/partner      
   continued to drink      
More likely to drink 4 1 4
Less likely to drink 16 11 17
No difference 69 73 69
Don't drink alcohol 12 16 9
dk/na * 0 0
If your spouse/partner      
   offered you alcohol      
More likely to drink 3 8 3
Less likely to drink 22 7 25
No difference 61 64 62
Don't drink alcohol 14 21 11
dk/na 0 0 0
If your spouse/partner      
   stopped drinking      
More likely to drink 3 0 2
Less likely to drink 28 23 35
No difference 57 56 55
Don't drink alcohol 12 20 9
dk/na * 1 0

*Less than one percent

Q.14

Thinking about yourself, would you be more likely to drink alcohol, less likely to drink alcohol or would it make no difference to your alcohol use in each of the following situations ...? Subsample: Women

10.0 MEN AND THEIR PARTNERS

Seven in ten men say they would be very likely to encourage their pregnant spouse to stop or cut back on her alcohol use during the pregnancy. Only three in ten would be very likely to stop drinking alcohol themselves during their partner's pregnancy.

As we saw in the previous section, women are the most likely to be influenced by a spouse who encourages them to reduce alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Here we see that men themselves are quite willing to take on that role.

Seven in ten men (71%) say they would be very likely to encourage their pregnant spouse or partner to stop or cut back on her alcohol use during the pregnancy. Fewer men (30%) say they would be very likely to stop drinking alcohol themselves during their spouse's or partner's pregnancy; 37 percent say they would not likely stop.

Only eight percent of men say they would not be likely to encourage their spouse to stop or cut back on alcohol use.

Quebec men are less likely to encourage their spouse to stop or cut back on her alcohol use during pregnancy and to stop drinking themselves during their spouse's pregnancy.

Men: Alcohol Use During Spouse's Pregnancy
December 1999
TOTAL SPOUSE
MEN MAY BECOME
  PREGNANT
Encourage her to stop/cut back    
   on alcohol use    
Very likely 71 70
Somewhat likely 8 7
Not very likely 4 6
Not at all likely 4 3
Spouse does not drink now 14 15
dk/na 0
Stop drinking alcohol yourself    
   during her pregnancy    
Very likely 30 33
Somewhat likely 22 19
Not very likely 23 26
Not at all likely 14 15
Do not drink now 11 6
dk/na 1 1

*Less than one percent

Q.17 Thinking about yourself, if your spouse or partner were to become pregnant, would you be very likely, somewhat likely, not very likely or not at all likely to do each of the following ... ? Subsample: Men

11.0 COMMUNICATIONS IMPLICATIONS

The survey suggests a number of directions for communications initiatives, both in terms of content and in terms of vehicles or media to be used in a communications or public information campaign.

In terms of content issues, it is clear that there is a widespread awareness among the target groups examined here, that alcohol use during pregnancy is harmful to an infant and the more alcohol is consumed, the more likely and extensive the harm may be. The real information challenge relates to the effects of small amounts of alcohol. Canadian women and men in the target group are divided in their belief about the effect of small amounts, and communication initiatives about alcohol use should be aware of this confusion or division.

A second issue relating to content involves the generally low levels of knowledge about FAS and FAE. Although most people claim to be aware of these terms, it is clear from the survey that there is very little knowledge about what these disabilities actually are and how serious they can be. A communications campaign to inform target audiences should have higher public knowledge of this as one of its goals. Raising awareness of FAS will also contribute to a heightened awareness overall, of the harmful effects of alcohol use during pregnancy.

On the topic of sources of information and appropriate media for communications initiatives, the survey confirms the importance of health professionals and health settings, such as clinics and hospitals, as the place where information about the effects of alcohol use is sought. However, many media are also important as information sources including brochures, pamphlets, articles in magazines and newspapers, and television advertising. The survey suggests that efforts should be made to create written materials (brochures, pamphlets, posters) for distribution to health care providers and settings, as well as to create materials and strategies to increase awareness of the topic in the general media.

The importance of increasing public awareness of all aspects of this topic in Quebec cannot be over-emphasized. The survey suggests that Quebecers' lower levels of awareness and knowledge about the effects of alcohol use during pregnancy can be traced in part to the general media environment. There is a need to create and distribute much more information about this topic within Quebec - to health professionals and particularly to health clinics, as well as in the Quebec media in general. Governments, their partners and the industries involved (spirits, wine, beer) should also consider sponsoring advertising, including warnings on alcohol advertising, and other initiatives, as part of a strategy to increase overall awareness and knowledge of these topics in Quebec.

One other important target group is women who consume greater amounts of alcohol. The survey shows that women who consume more on a regular basis are less likely than other women to believe that alcohol consumption is harmful. From the survey, women who consume more (four or more alcoholic drinks per week) are more likely to be younger, single, or with higher household income levels. There are no significant regional differences in alcohol consumption. The special need for information and efforts directed toward women who consume alcohol should be part of any communications initiative.

The survey suggests that communications initiatives should be developed that will be appropriate for women across a range of socio-economic and education groups, but with a greater emphasis on women with middle-to-lower levels of education, where knowledge and awareness levels are lower.

The survey also shows that men (spouses) have lower levels of knowledge than women. Communications directed toward men should build knowledge and awareness of the effects of alcohol use and should emphasize the importance of providing support and encouragement to their spouses to stop consumption, since the survey has shown that women, especially women who consume larger amounts of alcohol, are most likely to be influenced by this.

The following table summarizes the target groups where the need for information about the effects of alcohol use and FAS/FAE is higher than average, along with appropriate settings and vehicles of communications for each.

Summary of target groups need for information
Target Groups-
Need for Information
Target Groups-
Communications Settings and Vehicles
Quebec women
  • Doctors and doctor's offices
  • Health clinics and hospitals
  • Television and other advertising including government-sponsored advertising, NGO sponsorship of advertising, industry-sponsored ads, and health warnings on alcohol advertising
  • Television and other media programs and articles, especially magazines
  • Any initiatives to increase awareness of the topic in Quebec society
Women who consume more alcohol
  • Doctors and doctor's offices
  • Television and other advertising including government-sponsored advertising, NGO sponsorship of advertising, industry-sponsored ads, and health warnings on alcohol advertising
  • Television and other media programs, articles and sources, including newspapers, magazines, Internet
  • Settings where alcohol is consumed
Women with mid to lower levels of education
  • Doctors and doctor's offices
  • Health clinics and hospitals
  • Television advertising and programming
  • Magazines
Men
  • Doctors and doctor's offices
  • Health clinics and hospitals
  • Television advertising and programming
  • Parenting books and magazines
  • Internet sources

SURVEY METHODS

The results of the survey are based on questions asked to 1,205 respondents within the ten provinces of Canada. The survey was conducted by telephone from November 26 to December 9, 1999.

The sample frame for this survey involved identifying households from the general population across the country, using previous Environics survey research, that included women who were between the ages of 18 to 40 years of age. Random sampling among the general population of households was used to supplement this procedure.

The sample was chosen to be slightly disproportionate to the sample sizes of each province in order to achieve a certain minimum number for analysis. The final results are weighted to reflect the actual proportions in the population.

Within households, respondents were eligible to respond to this survey if anyone in the responding household was a female between the ages of 18 and 40 or the husband or partner of a female between the ages of 18 and 40.

The survey of 1,205 included 902 women and 303 men. The margin of error for the sample of women is ±3.3 percentage points, 19 times in 20; the margin of error for the sample of men is ±5.8 percentage points.

The following table presents the detailed completion results for this survey of 1,205 interviews.

# %
Number of calls 6,777 100
Household not eligible 1,080 16
Non-residential/not in service 1,604 24
Language barrier 79 1
 Subtotal 2,763 41
New Base (6,777-2,763) 4,014 100
No answer/line busy/    
   respondent not available 1,861 46
Refusals 930 23
Mid-interview refusals 18 *
 Subtotal 2,809 70
Net Completions (4,014-2,809) 1,205 30
Completion Rate (1,205/[4,014-1,861]) 56

*Less than one percent

ENGLISH QUESTIONNAIRE with marginals

December 14, 1999

Hello, my name is _______________________ . I am calling from Environics Research Group. We are conducting a brief survey on behalf of Health Canada (registration number HC-005-435-9945) about some health issues facing the country today. Please be assured that this is strictly a research project and that I am not selling anything.

Is anyone in your household…

A) a female aged between 18 and 40?

1 - Yes 2 - No

B) a husband or partner of a female aged between 18 and 40?

1 - Yes 2 - No

IF NO TO BOTH, POLITELY TERMINATE

IF YES TO A OR B, ASK TO SPEAK TO THAT PERSON, AND CONTINUE. IF YES TO BOTH, RANDOMIZE.

REPEAT: We are conducting a survey about some important health issues. Please be assured that we are not selling anything. Individual answers to this survey will be kept confidential and the tabulated findings will be used to create informational materials to help all families.

  1. Thinking about healthy infants and children, what, in your opinion are the most important things that pregnant women can do to increase the likelihood that their baby will be born healthy? What things come to mind as important?DO NOT READ. CODE ALL THAT APPLY. FIRST MENTION. SECOND MENTION, THIRD MENTION. Are there any others?
01 - Visit doctor/health professional 11%
02 - Eat well/good nutrition/vitamins 75%
03 - Increase exercise/physical activity 25%
04 - Reduce exercise/physical activity 5%
05 - Cut down/stop smoking 63%
06 - Cut down/stop alcohol use 52%
07 - Cut down/stop drug use (marijuana, crack, heroin, etc.) 14%
08 - Avoid stress 4%
09 - Avoid environmental pollution 2%
10 - Avoid second hand smoke 1%
11 - Positive mental attitude 1%
12 - Learn about infant care
13 - Take pre-natal class 2%
14 - Talk to friends/family/social support 1%
15 - Other (SPECIFY) 6%
16 - DK/NA 1%
  1. Here are some things that pregnant women might do to increase the likelihood that their baby will be born healthy. In your opinion, is each of the following one of the most important things to do, a very important thing to do, a less important thing to do or not at all important to do?
    READ AND ROTATE
a) Cut down or stop smoking?  
1 - One of the most important things to do 63%
2 - A very important thing to do 35%
3 - A less important thing to do 2%
4 - Not at all important to do  
5 - DK/NA  
b) Cut down or stop using alcohol  
1 - One of the most important things to do 60%
2 - A very important thing to do 38%
3 - A less important thing to do 2%
4 - Not at all important to do  
5 - DK/NA  
c) Avoid stressful situations  
1 - One of the most important things to do 19%
2 - A very important thing to do 59%
3 - A less important thing to do 21%
4 - Not at all important to do  
5 - DK/NA 1%
d) Eat nutritious food  
1 - One of the most important things to do 54%
2 - A very important thing to do 46%
3 - A less important thing to do 1%
4 - Not at all important to do  
5 - DK/NA  
e) Visit a doctor or health professional on a regular basis  
1 - One of the most important things to do 42%
2 - A very important thing to do 54%
3 - A less important thing to do 4%
4 - Not at all important to do  
5 - DK/NA  
f) Reduce strenuous physical activity  
1 - One of the most important things to do 12%
2 - A very important thing to do 41%
3 - A less important thing to do 39%
4 - Not at all important to do 7%
5 - DK/NA 1%
g) Avoid environmental pollution  
1 - One of the most important things to do 22%
2 - A very important thing to do 58%
3 - A less important thing to do 19%
4 - Not at all important to do 2%
5 - DK/NA 1%
Avoid second-hand smoke
1 - One of the most important things to do 36%
2 - A very important thing to do 54%
3 - A less important thing to do 9%
4 - Not at all important to do *
5 - DK/NA *
  1. Please tell me if you think each of the following statements about alcohol use during pregnancy and its effect on a baby that is born is true or is not true?
    READ AND ROTATE
a) A small amount of alcohol use during pregnancy can usually be considered safe.
1 - True 51%
2 - Not true 46%
3 - DK/NA 2%
b) The more alcohol a pregnant woman drinks, the more likely that the baby will be harmed.
1 - True 98%
2 - Not true 1%
3 - DK/NA
c) The more alcohol a pregnant woman drinks, the more harm that may be done to the baby.
1 - True 98%
2 - Not true 2%
3 - DK/NA
d) A moderate amount of alcohol consumption during pregnancy can usually be considered safe.
1 - True 25%
2 - Not true 73%
3 - DK/NA 2%
e) Any alcohol consumption during pregnancy can harm the baby.
1 - True 66%
2 - Not true 33%
3 - DK/NA 1%
f) alcohol use beforea pregnancy begins can harm a baby, even if a woman stops alcohol use during the pregnancy.
1 - True 39%
2 - Not true 53%
3 - DK/NA 8%
g) A small amount of alcohol consumption during pregnancy would never lead to serious harm to the baby.
1 - True 30%
2 - Not true 66%
3 - DK/NA 4%
  1. In terms of its effect on a baby that is born, do you think it would be very safe, somewhat safe, not very safe or not at all safe for a pregnant woman to drink each of the following amounts of alcohol

a) One alcoholic drink each day during the pregnancy?

1 - Very safe 1%
2 - somewhat safe 6%
3 - Not very safe 25%
4 - Not at all safe 69%
5 - DK/NA
b) Three or four alcoholic drinks each weekend during the pregnancy?
1 - Very safe 1%
2 - somewhat safe 4%
3 - Not very safe 27%
4 - Not at all safe 68%
5 - DK/NA
c) Two alcoholic drinks on two or three different occasions during the pregnancy?
1 - Very safe 12%
2 - somewhat safe 35%
3 - Not very safe 25%
4 - Not at all safe 27%
5 - DK/NA 1%
d) A total of one or two alcoholic drinks during the pregnancy?
1 - Very safe 27%
2 - somewhat safe 38%
3 - Not very safe 14%
4 - Not at all safe 20%
5 - DK/NA

5. a) Do you recall seeing any information about the effects of alcohol use on a baby during pregnancy?

1 - Yes 2 - No 3 - DK/NA

YES   72%
NO   28%
DK/NA   *

b) What kind of information was it?
DO NOT READ. CODE ALL THAT APPLY

N=877
01 - Brochure/pamphlet 33%
02 - Media programs/articles in newspapers/magazines 33%
03 - Books 15%
04 - Television advertising 24%
05 - Magazine advertising 11%
06 - Infant care groups/classes 6%
07 - Poster 12%
08 - Doctor/health care professional 20%
09 - Radio 2%
10 - School/special classes, such as CPR 6%
11 - Personal experience/word of mouth 5%
12 - alcohol bottles/alcohol vendors 4%
13 - Work 2%
14 - Presentation/seminar 1%
15 - Internet 1%
16 - Other (specify) 1%
17 - DK/NA 3%

ROTATE Q.6 AND Q.7

6. a)  Have you ever heard of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?

1 - Yes 2 - No 3 - DK/NA

ASK (b)   71%
GO TO Q.7   29%
GO TO Q.7   *

b) Can you tell me what Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is? PROBE FOR COMPLETE RESPONSE. What happens with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?

N=859
01 - Effects of alcohol on fetus 34%
02 - Baby addicted/experiences withdrawal 22%
03 - Harmful/ill effects 13%
04 - Delayed development 11%
05 - Physical disorders 11%
06 - Learning disabilities 10%
07 - Causes birth defects/deformities 10%
08 - Brain damage 9%
09 - Mental disorders 8%
10 - Cranial/facial deformities 8%
11 - Lower I.Q./retardation 7%
12 - Behavioural problems 7%
13 - Low birth weight 5%
14 - Attention Deficit Disorder 4%
15 - Born with alcohol in its system 3%
16 - Growth problems 2%
17 - Premature birth 1%
18 - Other (63(&,)<) 1%
19 - DK/NA 14%

7. a) Have you ever heard of fetal alcohol effects?

1 - Yes 2 - No 3 - DK/NA

ASK(B)   56%
GO TO Q. 8   43%
GO TO Q. 8  

b) Can you tell me what fetal alcohol effects are? PROBE

N=678
01 - Physical disorders 17%
02 - Baby addicted/experiences withdrawal 14%
03 - Learning disabilities 14%
04 - Brain damage 10%
05 - Delayed development 10%
06 - Lower I.Q./retardation/Down's Syndrome 8%
07 - Effects of alcohol on fetus 8%
08 - Cranial/facial deformities 8%
09 - Mental disorders 7%
10 - Behavioural problems 7%
11 - Low birth weight 6%
12 - Attention Deficit Disorder/hyperactivity 6%
13 - Psychological/emotional problems 6%
14 - Birth defects 6%
15 - Unhealthy child 5%
16 - Growth problems 5%
17 - Fetal/infant organ/respiratory damage 5%
18 - Effects less than FAS 3%
19 - Premature birth 3%
20 - Fetus/infant mortality/SIDS 1%
21 - Other 3%
22 - DK/NA 17%
  1. What for you would be the best source of information about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and about the effects of alcohol use during pregnancy? DO NOT READ Are there any other good sources for you to find this information? CODE ALL THAT APPLY

01 - Doctor/doctor's office 47%
02 - Health clinic/hospital 9%
03 - Pre-natal class 1%
04 - Pharmacy/drug store
05 - Workplace 1%
06 - Through friends/family 1%
07 - Books/magazines 10%
08 - Internet sources 5%
09 - TV programs/advertisements 8%
10 - Health Canada/flyers and pamphlets 4%
11 - Public health organizations/programs 1%
12 - Newspapers 1%
13 - Other media 1%
14 - Library/school 1%
15 - Others (SPECIFY) 1%
16 - DK/NA 5%

8 b. Are there any other good sources for you to find this information?

01 - Doctor/doctor's office     21%
02 - Health clinic/hospital     18%
03 - Pre-natal class     5%
04 - Pharmacy/drug store     3%
05 - Workplace     1%
06 - Through friends/family     3%
07 - Books/magazines     28%
08 - Internet sources     18%
09 - TV programs     12%
10 - Health Canada/flyers and pamphlets   7%
11 - Public health organizations/programs   7%
12 - Library     6%
13 - Newspapers     5%
14 - TV advertisements     4%
15 - Other media     3%
16 - School     3%
17 - alcohol bottles/alcohol vendors   2%
18 - Posters/billboards     2%
19 - Journals     1%
20 - Others (SPECIFY)     2%
21 - DK/NA     9%
Is each of the following statements true or not true?  
a)alcohol use during pregnancy can lead to life-long disablities in a child.  
1 - True 89%    
2 - Not true 8%    
3 - DK/NA 3%    
b)Most of the effects of alcohol use on a child usually disappear as the child grows older.  
1 - True 9%    
2 - Not true 82%    
3 - DK/NA 10%    

10.

Do you strongly approve, somewhat approve, somewhat disapprove or strongly disapprove of each of the following: READ AND ROTATE

a) Requiring labels on alcohol products warning about the risks of alcohol use during pregnancy.

1 - Strongly approve 66%
2 - Somewhat approve 24%
3 - Somewhat disapprove 7%
4 - Strongly disapprove 4%
5 - DK/NA

b) Requiring signs in restaurants warning about the risks of alcohol use during pregnancy.

1 - Strongly approve 40%
2 - Somewhat approve 38%
3 - Somewhat disapprove 14%
4 - Strongly disapprove 8%
5 - DK/NA
c) Requiring signs in bars and clubs warning about the risks of alcohol use during pregnancy.
1 - Strongly approve 55%
2 - Somewhat approve 28%
3 - Somewhat disapprove 11%
4 - Strongly disapprove 7%
5 - DK/NA

d) Government-sponsored advertising describing the effects and warning about the risks of alcohol use during pregnancy.

  1 - Strongly approve 78%
  2 - Somewhat approve 19%
  3 - Somewhat disapprove 2%
  4 - Strongly disapprove 1%
  5 - DK/NA
e) Requiring messages on alcohol advertising warning about the risks of alcohol use during pregnancy.
  1 - Strongly approve 73%
  2 - Somewhat approve 22%
  3 - Somewhat disapprove 3%
  4 - Strongly disapprove 2%
  5 - DK/NA
WOMAN ONLY—OTHERS GO TO Q.15  
 
a) Have you ever given birth to a child?  
    N=902
  1 - Yes -ASK (b) 63%
  2 - No - GO TO Q. 12 37%
  3 - DK/NA - GO TO Q.12

b) Did you give birth to a child within the past five years?

    N=584
  1 - Yes 56%
  2 - No 44%
  3 - DK/NA *
c) How many children have you given birth to?
'DO NOT    
READ   N=584
  1 - 1 33%
  2 - 2 44%
  3 - 3 15%
  4 - 4 6%
  5 - 5 1%
  6 - 6 or more *
  7 - DK/NA *

12. a)  Thinking about yourself, are you currently pregnant or think you might become pregnant within the next two years?

  N=902
  1 - Yes, currently pregnant GO TO Q.13 6%
  2 - Yes, might become pregnant within the next two years GO TO Q 13 20%
  3 - No ASK (b) 74%
  4 - DK/NA ASK (b) 1%

   b) Do you think you might become pregnant at some point in the future?

N=680
   1 - yes 30%
   2 - No 67%
   3 - DK/NA 2%

13. If you were to become pregnant, would you…

N=902
   1 - not change your alcohol use 4%
   2 - cut back on your alcohol use, or 11%
   3 - stop alcohol use 62%
VOLENTEERED  
   4 - don't use alcohol now 23%
   5 - DK/NA *

14.  Thinking about yourself, would you be more likely to drink alcohol, less likely to drink alcohol or would it make no difference to your alcohol use in each of the following situations:

READ AND ROTATE

a) If your spouse or partner continued to drink alcohol during your pregnancy?

  N=902
1 - More likely 4%
2 - Less likely 16%
3 - No difference 69%
VOLUNTEERED  
4 - Don't drink alcohol 12%
5 - Don't have spouse
6 - DK/NA
b) If your spouse or partner encouraged you to stop or cut back your alcohol use during your pregnancy?
  N=902
1 - More likely 7%
2 - Less likely 39%
3 - No difference 39%
VOLUNTEERED  
4 - Don't drink alcohol 15%
5 - Don't have spouse
6 - DK/NA
c) If your spouse or partner were to offer you alcohol during your pregnancy?
  N=902
1 - More likely 3%
2 - Less likely 22%
3 - No difference 61%
VOLUNTEERED  
4 - Don't drink alcohol 14%
5 - Don't have spouse
6 - DK/NA

d)  If your spouse or partner stopped drinking alcohol during your pregnancy?

N=902
   1 - More likely 3%
   2 - Less likely 28%
   3 - No difference 57%
VOLUNTEERED  
   4 - Don't drink alcohol 12%
   5 - Don't have spouse
   6 - DK/NA *

MEN ONLY—OTHERS GO TO Q.18

15. a) Do you have any children?

1 - Yes 2 - No 3 - DK/NA

  N=303
Yes—Ask (b)   76%
No —Go to Q.16   24%
DK/NA—Go to Q.16   *

b)  Do you have any children aged 5 or younger?

    N=232
  1 - Yes 60
  2 - No 40
  3 - DK/NA  
c) How many children do you have?
DO NOT READ    
    N=232
  1 - 1 32%
  2 - 2 43%
  3 - 3 17%
  4 - 4 5%
  5 - 5 2%
  6 - 6 or more 1%
  7 - DK/NA  *

16. a)  Do you currently have a spouse or partner who is pregnant, or whom you think might become pregnant within the next two years?

N=303

  1. Yes —Go to Q.17—31%
  2. No—Ask (b)—68%
  3. DK/NA— 1%

b)  Do you think your spouse or partner might become pregnant at some point in the future?

N=214

  1. - Yes —Go to Q.17—27%
  2. - No —Ask (b)—72%
  3. - DK/NA—2%

17.  Thinking about yourself, if your spouse or partner were to become pregnant, would you be very likely, somewhat likely, not very likely or not at all likely to do each of the following?

READ AND ROTATE

a)  Encourage her to stop or cut back on her alcohol use during the pregnancy

    N=303
1 - Very likely 71%
2 - Somewhat likely 8%
3 - Not very likely 4%
4 - Not at all likely 4%
5 - Spouse does not drink now 14%
6 - DK/NA
b) Stop drinking alcohol yourself during her pregnancy  
  N=303
1 - Very likely 30%
2 - Somewhat likely 22%
3 - Not very likely 23%
4 - Not at all likely 14%
5 - Spouse does not drink now 11%
6 - DK/NA 1%
DEMOGRAPHICS  
 
ASK ALL  
 
18. Finally, a few questions for statistical purposes. Please be assured that all your responses will be kept entirely anonymous and absolutely confidential
In what year were you born?
SPECIFY
2 - DK/NA
19. What is the highest level of education that you have reached?
Do not read - circle only one
01 - Some elementary (Grades 1-7)
02 - Completed elementary (Grade 8)
03 - Some high school (Grades 9-11)
04 - Completed high school (Grades 12 or 13)
05 - Some community college, vocational, trade school, CEGEP
06 - Diploma or certificate from community college, vocational, trade school, CEGEP
07 - Some university
08 - Completed university (Bachelor's degree)
09 - Post graduate/professional school (Master's degree, Ph.D., LI.B, M.D. M.Ed, etc.)
10 - No schooling
VOLUNTEERED
11 - Refuse/DK/NA
20. Which of the following best corresponds to your present situation?
Are you:
1 - Employed full-time
2 - Employed part-time
3 - Unemployed
4 - A home-maker
5 - Retired
6 - A student
7 - Other
21. In addition to being Canadian, to which ethnic or cultural group do you or your ancestors belong?
DO NOT READ—CODE TWO MAXIMUM.    
01 -British (English, Welsh, Scottish, Irish)
02 - French
03 -Other European (German, Ukrainian, Polish, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese, Greek, Spanish, Russian, etc.)
04 - Jewish
05 -Chinese
06 -South Asian (ex. East Indian, Pakistani, Punjabi, Sri Lankan)
07 -Black (ex. African, Haitian, Jamaican, Somali, American Black)
08 -Aboriginal (First Nations, Indian, Metis, Inuit)
09 -Southeast Asian (Cambodian, Indonesian, Laotian, Vietnamese, Filipino)
10 - Other (specify)
11 - DK/NA
22. Were you born in Canada or in another country? 1 - Canada 2 - Another country 3 - DK/NA

23. a) Are you currently:

1 - Married or living as a couple $6.--E-
2 - Widowed 2-72-4
3 - Separated 2-72-4
4 - Divorced, or 2-72-4
5 - Single 2-72-4
6 - DK/NA/Refuse 2-72-4

b)  How long have you been married or living with your partner?

DO NOT READ

  1. Less than one year
  2. 1 to less than 2 years
  3. 2 to less than 4 years
  4. 4 to less than 5 years
  5. 5 to less than 10 years
  6. 10 to less than 15 year
  7. over 15 years
  8. DK/NA

Into which of the following categories would you put the total annual income in 1998 of all the members of your household, including yourself, before taxes and deductions?

  1. Under $10,000
  2. $10,001 to $20,000
  3. $20,001 to $30,000
  4. $30,001 to $40,000
  5. $40,001 to $50,000
  6. $50,001 to $60,000
  7. $60,001 to $70,000
  8. $70,001 to $80,000
  9. $80,001 to $90,000
  10. $90,001 to $100,000
  11. $100,000 and over
  12. DK/NA /Refused

24.

25. Finally, how many alcoholic drinks did you have during an average week in the last month (1RWH-WR LQWHUYLHZHU- a drink is a glass of wine, one wine cooler, one can or bottle of beer, one shot of liquor, one mixed cocktail)?

'2-127-5($'

1 - No drinks during an average week

2 - Less than one drink during an average week 3 - 1 to 3 drinks a week 4 - 4 to 6 drinks a week 5 - 7 to 10 drinks a week 6 - 11 to 14 drinks a week 7 - 15 to 17 drinks a week 8 - 18 or more drinks a week 9 - DK/NA

1RWH-WR-LQWHUYLHZHU- If respondent asks for more information on the topic, read:

If you would like to receive information about alcohol and pregnancy, please call the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse at 1-800-559-4514.
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