Estimating the economic burden of FASD in Australia
Masters Candidate: Dr Amy Finlay-Jones
Masters Title: Estimating the ecominc burden of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder in Australia
This project aims to estimate the lifetime economic burden of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) in Australia using economic modelling. FASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by prenatal exposure to alcohol, and is the most common preventable cause of intellectual disability in high income countries. FASD can have profound effects on learning and behaviour and is associated with disengagement from school and vocational endeavours, and increased risk of contact with the justice system. Given the pervasive impact of alcohol on the developing fetus, individuals with FASD are also at risk of multiple comorbidities: a recent study found that FASD was associated with 428 comorbid conditions. Accordingly, the burden for individuals living with FASD and their families is immense. Previous work in the US, Canada, and New Zealand has identified substantial costs attributable to FASD, including the provision of special education, healthcare services, productivity losses, and justice-system costs. This will be the first study to model the costs attributable to FASD in Australia.