Perception of personal and general risk of alcohol use during pregnancy among women in a high risk community in the Northern Cape province, South Africa

Louw, Jacobus Gidion (2014-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Maternal drinking during pregnancy and its consequences are a growing health concern worldwide. It has also been identified as a significant problem in South African communities with some of the highest prevalence rates of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) reported in South Africa. The primary aim of this study was to explore how women in a South African community in the Northern Cape Province perceive the personal and general risk of drinking during pregnancy. The secondary aims were to ascertain whether there was evidence of unrealistic optimism, to examine whether there were personal characteristics that are associated with high or low risk perception, and to examine women‟s knowledge of FASD. A total of 128 women from De Aar in the Northern Cape, an area with a high prevalence of FASD, and therefore drinking during pregnancy, were recruited to take part in the study. Participants had previously taken part in a FASD prevention programme. Questionnaires were administered assessing the perception of the risk posed to a participant‟s own child should she drink during pregnancy, and the risk posed to others‟ children should they drink during pregnancy. The questionnaire also contained questions on FASD knowledge and demographic variables. Participants were between 18 and 44 years of age and reported high rates of unemployment. Most women had more than one child and 7.8% had a child diagnosed with FASD. No evidence for unrealistic optimism was found. Multiple regression analyses revealed both FASD knowledge, and the perception of how easy it would be for oneself to stop drinking, were significant predictors for both personal and general risk. A model including the perception of general risk, FASD knowledge and the perception of how easily one could stop drinking accounted for the most variance in the perception of personal risk (66.4%). Perception of personal risk on its own was the strongest predictor of the perception of general risk accounting for 56.1% of variance. There was no significant correlation between passage of time and FASD knowledge, but possible gaps in FASD knowledge were identified. The study provides an overview of the perception of the risk of drinking during pregnancy in the target population. It also suggests improvements to the research design and materials for further research.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Moederlike drankgebruik gedurende swangerskap en die gevolge daarvan word wêreldwyd met groeiende kommer beskou. Dit is ook as ʼn wesenlike probleem in Suid-Afrika geïdentifiseer, met van die hoogste voorkomssyfers van Fetale Alkohol Spektrumafwykings (FASA) wat in Suid-Afrika aangeteken is. Die primêre doel van hierdie studie was om, in ʼn Suid-Afrikaanse gemeenskap in die Noord Kaap provinsie, die persepsie van persoonlike en algemene risiko van drink tydens swangerskap onder vrouens, te ondersoek. Die sekondêre doelstellings was om vas te stel of daar bewyse van onrealistiese optimisme is; te bepaal of daar persoonlike eienskappe is wat korreleer met ʼn hoë of lae risiko-persepsie, en om ook die vroue se kennis van Fetale Alkohol Spektrumafwykings (FASA) te ondersoek. 128 vroue van De Aar in die Noord-Kaap is gewerf om aan die studie deel te neem. Die gebied het 'n hoë FASA voorkoms, en dus ook alkoholgebruik tydens swangerskap. Deelnemers het voorheen deelgeneem aan 'n FASA voorkomingsprogram. Vraelyste is voltooi rakende die persepsie van die risiko vir 'n deelnemer se eie kind sou sy tydens swangerskap drink, en die risiko vir ander se kinders, sou hulle tydens swangerskap drink. Die vraelys het ook vrae oor FASA kennis en demografiese veranderlikes ingesluit. Deelnemers was tussen 18 en 44 jaar oud en het hoë vlakke van werkloosheid gerapporteer. Meeste vrouens het meer as een kind gehad en 7.8% het ʼn kind wat met FASA gediagnoseer is gehad. Geen bewyse vir onrealistiese optimisme is gevind nie. Meervoudige regressie-ontleding het bevind dat beide FASA-kennis en die persepsie van hoe maklik dit vir ‟n deelnemer self sou wees om op te hou drink, beduidende voorspellers vir beide persoonlike en algemene risiko is. 'n Model wat die persepsie van algemene risiko, FASA-kennis en die persepsie van hoe maklik 'n deelnemer self kan ophou drink, het die grootste variansie in die persepsie van persoonlike risiko verduidelik (66,4 %). Persepsie van persoonlike risiko op sy eie, was die sterkste voorspeller van die persepsie van algemene risiko, opsigself verantwoordelik vir 56,1% van die variansie. Daar was geen beduidende korrelasie tussen die verloop van tyd en FASA kennis nie, maar moontlike gapings in die kennis van FASA is geïdentifiseer. Die studie bied 'n oorsig van die persepsie van die risiko van drankgebruik tydens swangerskap in die teikenbevolking. Dit stel ook verbeteringe vir die navorsingsmetodiek voor vir toekomstige navorsing.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/95915
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