FAS/FAE Multimedia Tools for Care Providers

Period of Performance: 03/10/2005 - 02/28/2006


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Academic Edge, Inc.
Bloomington, IN 47408
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Prenatal exposure to alcohol is the leading causing of birth defects in the United States. Recent studies show prevalence rates in the US may be as high as 1% of live births (Burd L, Cotsonas-Hassler, et al., 2003). This means that each year, as many as 39,000 babies are born with FAS. Many more are born with fetal alcohol effects (FAE). Early diagnosis and appropriate management has repeatedly been shown to significantly reduce the risk of secondary disabilities and increase positive outcomes (Streissguth et al. 1997). AEI is developing a set of multimedia and web components about FAS that target lay care providers, particularly foster and adoptive parents. The project seeks to increase early and accurate diagnosis of children exposed to alcohol prenatally and to facilitate appropriate treatment and ongoing management of those affected by the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and its associated disorders. Phase I resoundingly met its technical and evaluative tests of feasibility, going well beyond the originally envisioned deliverables. Phase I produced a commercial quality CD-ROM that focused on helping lay care providers recognize problems and seek diagnosis. This CD-ROM was examined in a randomized, controlled field trial and was found to increase subject knowledge of FAS significantly more than the comparison condition. The program was also considered by subjects to be better than the comparison condition on measures of usefulness, effect on confidence, and usability. The program surpassed the experimentally postulated values for all usability measures. Qualitative feedback further supported success of the project. The Phase I FAS Multimedia Guide and the results of the evaluation strongly support continuance to Phase II. Phase II of the project will continue this effort by (1) creating a significant new module on treatment and management, (2) revising and extending the Phase I module, (3) enhancing and extending the Phase I web site, (4) creating VMS and DVD versions for wider distribution of the core materials. Evaluation will be conducted through (1) subject matter expert reviews, (2) end-user focus groups, and (3) a quasi-experimental field trial, and (4) commercializing the products from Phases I and II through parent associations, distributors, and state agencies.