Evaluation Results

Evaluation of Ontario's May 2004 campaign about alcohol and pregnancy showed that the campaign had a significant impact on awareness of the risks of alcohol use in pregnancy.

The campaign was rigorously assessed through formative, process and outcome evaluations. Evaluation components included both qualitative and quantitative aspects. To find out more about some of the positive results:

Pre and Post Phone Survey
Media Report
Community Activities
Comments about the Campaign

There were also other campaign results, signs of success that went beyond the original framework of the provincial campaign.


Pre and Post Phone Survey

Best Start contracted Environics to complete a pre and post campaign phone survey of Ontario women of child bearing age. The pre and the post surveys each involved a total of 340 women aged 18 to 40 years of age. The margin of error was plus/minus 5.3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Survey results showed high initial levels of awareness. There was a significant increase in awareness of the benefits of an alcohol-free pregnancy. The results also indicate strong campaign and message recall.

More specifically, the pre and post campaign evaluation results show:

Alcohol-free pregnancy - There was a 15% increase in rate of top-of-mind awareness that "stopping alcohol use in pregnancy" is one of the most important things that women can do to increase the likelihood that their children will be born healthy.

Safe limits - There were significant decreases in the amount of alcohol
considered safe in pregnancy, and of the proportion of respondents who
thought beer was safe in pregnancy. There were significant increases in the
proportion of respondents who thought that women should stop drinking prior
to conception.

Social consequences - Significant increases were found in the proportion of respondents who agreed that prenatal exposure to alcohol can result in trouble with school (7% increase), trouble getting along others (8% increase), and problems with alcohol or drug use (11% increase).

Physical consequences - There was a 65% increase in the number of respondents who volunteered that birth defects could result from prenatal exposure to alcohol.

Campaign Recall - 62% of respondents recently saw or heard information about alcohol use during pregnancy.

Message Recall - Most respondents clearly recalled key aspects of the campaign messages. Among those who recalled seeing or hearing information, respondents indicated that they thought the main campaign message(s) were:

refrain from drinking while pregnant (60%),
alcohol hurts the fetus/causes birth defects (34%),
alcohol use in pregnancy causes Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (19%).

Media Report

Based on audience reach through media coverage, Best Start's campaign successfully reached 5,120,693 people with key messages about alcohol and pregnancy:

33 newspapers included articles about alcohol and pregnancy.
18 radio stations aired information related to the campaign messages
several TV stations aired special full length shows about FASD
campaign information and messages also appeared on a wide range of internet sites

Community Activities

Community groups across the province were very supportive of the campaign. They planned a wide range of interesting initiatives that were tailored to community needs. An evaluation of groups who ordered campaign resources showed that community groups were pleased with the:

campaign resources
respectful approach to the issues
supports from Best Start
information on the websites
focus of province wide strategies

Comments about the Campaign

Here are some of the comments that Best Start received about the campaign:

It's very exciting and I know we'll be using this material for a long time to come!
The Best Start campaign has honed the skills of many to think "big picture" messages.
Congratulations on putting together this first-ever campaign. It is impressive!
We are so excited about the alcohol & pregnancy campaign. The materials are great!
While listening to local radio, was pleasantly surprised by Best Start campaign message. It was crisp, clear, and friendly without preaching.
I keep meaning to tell you how wonderful I think it is that you've accomplished all of this! The funding, Environics, the materials, the distribution, local supports. Just wanted to say Congratulations!

Other Campaign Results

The campaign had a reach that went beyond provincial boundaries and past the time frame of the campaign:

campaign resources were used in other provinces
campaign resources were ordered by people who lived in other countries
campaign resources were used by many FASD interest groups for FASday events in September 2004, 3 months after the May 2004 campaign
campaign messages appeared in out of province media
campaign images were used on a range of new resources including calendars, recipe books and warning signs





Research article
Research article on the results of the Alcohol free pregnancy campaign:

As of Feb 1 2005, Sandy's Law requires licensed establisements to display - Warning Signs about Alcohol & Pregnancy
Evaluation Results of the May 2004 Campaign
Survey shows high levels of awareness about the risks of alcohol use in pregnancy
See the Planning Tips section for key resources



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