A feasibility study of alcohol intake in pregnancy in the primary care setting

Pregnancy has been identified by the Strategic Task Force and internationally as a particularly hazardous time for  alcohol consumption.  We already have information in relation to alcohol consumption patterns in the hospital setting through a study in the Coombe Women’s Hospital but it is important to put in place a mechanism for data  gathering in primary care.

A pilot study in which a GP opportunistically recruited women who presented for their antenatal visits encountered several logistical problems. A feasibility study is to be carried out to test the practical issues involved in collecting data in the primary care setting.

Fifteen practices were recruited, randomised into three groups of five, and each practice asked to recruit twenty patients.  In order to ensure the three groups were comparable, randomisation was stratified according to the size of and location of the practice. Each of the three groups used a different methodology for data collection. The aim of this project is to test the feasibility of gathering data on alcohol consumption in pregnancy in primary care.