Identifying Risk Drinking in Expectant Fathers

Authors

  • Grace Chang MD, MPH,

    Corresponding author
    1. All authors are affiliated with the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Grace Chang is Associate Professor of Psychiatry, E. John Orav is Associate Professor of Medicine (Biostatistics), Louise Wilkins-Haug is Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Tay McNamara was with the Department of Psychiatry at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
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  • Tay McNamara PhD,

    1. All authors are affiliated with the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Grace Chang is Associate Professor of Psychiatry, E. John Orav is Associate Professor of Medicine (Biostatistics), Louise Wilkins-Haug is Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Tay McNamara was with the Department of Psychiatry at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
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  • E. John Orav PhD,

    1. All authors are affiliated with the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Grace Chang is Associate Professor of Psychiatry, E. John Orav is Associate Professor of Medicine (Biostatistics), Louise Wilkins-Haug is Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Tay McNamara was with the Department of Psychiatry at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
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  • Louise Wilkins-Haug MD, PhD

    1. All authors are affiliated with the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Grace Chang is Associate Professor of Psychiatry, E. John Orav is Associate Professor of Medicine (Biostatistics), Louise Wilkins-Haug is Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Tay McNamara was with the Department of Psychiatry at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
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  • This study was supported by grants R01 AA 12548 (GC) and K2400289 (GC) from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 5635 Fishers Lane, Bethesda, Maryland 20892–9304, USA.

* Dr. Grace Chang, Department of Psychiatry, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Abstract

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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