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Identifying Risk Drinking in Expectant Fathers

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Abstract: 

Background:Identification of risk drinking in expectant fathers may be helpful as an important part of efforts to minimize maternal alcohol use, and as an opportunity to inform them about a problematic practice during a critical developmental stage for the couple. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the T‐ACE screening questionnaire, which asks abouttolerance to alcohol, beingannoyed by other's comments about drinking, attempts tocut down, and having a drink first thing in the morning (“eye‐opener”), in the male partners of pregnant women who themselves were T‐ACE positive. Methods:Two hundred fifty‐four male partners were asked to complete the T‐ACE embedded in a health survey, the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), and other questions about their alcohol use in the past 30 days when their pregnant partners had a median gestation of 11.5 weeks (T1). After delivery, male partners again completed the T‐ACE and quantity‐frequency questions (T2). The predictive ability of the T‐ACE and AUDIT was compared, using risk drinking (>4 drinks/day or >14 drinks/week) as the criterion standard. Results:A substantial minority of male partners had risk drinking, 31 percent at T1 and 25 percent at T2. Although the AUDIT was better than the T‐ACE as an independent predictor of risk drinking, the latter was most accurate when the tolerance threshold exceeded 2 drinks, the same established for pregnant women. The sensitivity (T1 = 84.6%, T2 = 82.8%) and specificity (T1 = 43.8%, T2 = 51.1%) of the T‐ACE at this threshold compared favorably with those of the AUDIT at the standard cut point of 8. Conclusions:The T‐ACE may be a practical way for clinicians to identify risk drinking in both pregnant women and expectant fathers. (BIRTH 33:2 June 2006)
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 June 2006

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