Impact of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder on families

Natalie Lynette Phillips, Marcel David Zimmet, Amy Phu, Meenkashi Rattan, Yvonne Zurynski, Elizabeth J. Elliott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objective To evaluate the impact of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) on child and family functioning.

Design Prospective survey.

Setting Multidisciplinary FASD assessment service.

Patients Caregivers of 35 children with FASD.

Main outcome measures Child-health-related functioning (Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children Measure of Function (MOF)), family impact (Impact on Family (IOF) Scale), impact on siblings and caregiver stress.

Results Most caregivers were foster carers (74%). Children with FASD (median age 8.7 years; 54% male) were a median of 7.0 years at diagnosis. Regarding child-health-related functioning, 43% reported moderate, severe or major problems in at least one area on the MOF. IOF was moderate (60%) or high (34%). Poorer child-health-related functioning was associated with greater impact on family. Unaffected siblings received less parental attention and displayed anger or frustration about the affected child’s needs. Caregivers reported frequent and high levels of stress.

Conclusions FASD impacts children’s health, and function of the family and unaffected siblings. These novel findings highlight the need for family-oriented service development.
Original languageEnglish
Article number322703
Pages (from-to)755-757
Number of pages3
JournalArchives of Disease in Childhood
Issue number8
Early online date16 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
  • family health
  • child health
  • Siblings
  • paediatrics
  • adolescent health


Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder on families'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this