This paper aims to explore the available literature to understand how risks regarding prenatal alcohol exposure are perceived.
A systematic review (PROSPERO; CRD 42020212887) was undertaken. PubMed, Embase, PsycINFO, and CINAHL were searched for relevant quantitative and qualitative studies. A thematic analysis of the studies was performed.
Fifteen articles—nine quantitative and six qualitative studies met the inclusion criteria. Three dimensions of risk perceptions were identified—perceived susceptibility, perceived severity, and affective risk perception. Three influencing factors of these dimensions were also identified: information (i.e., consistency, confirmation bias, strength of the evidence, and perceived relevance), sociocultural (i.e., social inclusivity, cultural context, and risk interpretation), and individual (i.e., risks versus benefits, controllability, and experience). These dimensions and influencing factors were brought together to create the proposed novel Pregnancy Alcohol Risk Perception (PARP) conceptual model.
The novel PARP conceptual model developed from the current literature provides a framework to guide understanding of risk perceptions, which includes a wide range of potential influencing factors.
Implications for public health
The novel PARP conceptual model provides the groundwork for further refinement with stakeholders, which could in turn be used to inform the design of interventions and health promotional materials to support harm reduction approaches and prevention of prenatal alcohol exposure.
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