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ACEs Research Corner — May 2019


[Editor's note: Dr. Harise Stein at Stanford University edits a web site -- that focuses on the health effects of abuse, and includes research articles on ACEs. Every month, she will post the summaries of the abstracts and links to research articles that address only ACEs. Thank you, Harise!! -- Jane Stevens]

Feng JY, Hsieh YP, Hwa HL, Huang CY, Wei HS, Shen AC.
Childhood poly-victimization and children's health: A nationally representative study. Child Abuse Negl. 2019 May;91:88-94. PMID: 30852428
A large national study of Taiwanese 4thgrade students showed, “a significant dose-response relationship between children's poly-victimization exposure and their health problems including hospitalization, serious injury, surgery, daily-medication requirements, heart murmurs, asthma, dizziness or fainting, allergies, kidney disease, therapies for special needs, smoking, and alcohol use…children's risk of having a health problem grew significantly with each increase in the number of victimization types that children experienced.”

Reichman NE, Corman H, Noonan K, Jiménez ME.
Infant Health and Future Childhood Adversity. Maternal Child Health J. 2018 Mar;22(3):318-326. PMID: 29285632
Following a group of at-risk families over time, and controlling for factors that preceded a child’s birth, the 3.3% of children who had a disabling health condition present at birth were 83% more likely to experience subsequent 2 or more ACEs and 73% 3 or more ACEs at age 5. “Child health and ACEs play intertwining and mutually reinforcing roles during the early lifecourse.”

Lanier P, Maguire-Jack K, Lombardi B, Frey J, Rose RA.
Adverse Childhood Experiences and Child Health Outcomes: Comparing Cumulative Risk and Latent Class Approaches. Maternal Child Health J. 2018 Mar;22(3):288-297. PMID: 28929420
Using a national children’s health dataset, authors found that different combinations of ACEs carried different risk for child health, with children who experienced the combination of poverty and parental mental illness at particularly high risk for poor health outcomes. “Cumulative number of ACEs is a useful measure to identify and triage patient populations based on a broad dimension of risk. However… it will be essential to pinpoint specific interventions for patients presenting with exposure to specific ACEs or combinations of ACEs.”

Roberts AL, Gladish N, Gatev E, et. al.
Exposure to childhood abuse is associated with human sperm DNA methylation. Transl Psychiatry. 2018 Oct 2;8(1):194. PMID: 30279435
In this small study of 34 men, authors identified areas of changes to DNA (methylation) in sperm that were associated with childhood abuse, with possible implications for offspring development. These DNA areas related to nerve function, fat cell regulation, and immune function.

Braveman P, Heck K, Egerter S, Rinki C, Marchi K, Curtis M.
Economic Hardship in Childhood: A Neglected Issue in ACE Studies? Maternal Child Health J. 2018 Mar;22(3):308-317. PMID: 28975444
From survey data on 27,102 postpartum California women, “Findings link childhood economic hardship with women's [adult] hardships, binge drinking, and possibly smoking around the time of pregnancy. Without establishing causality, they support previous research indicating that childhood economic adversity should be considered an ACE.”

Salokangas RKR, From T, Luutonen S, Hietala J.
Adverse childhood experiences leads to perceived negative attitude of others. Eur Psychiatry. 2018 Oct;54:27-34. PMID: 30041073
Of 692 Finnish adults from the general population, “ACEs have a direct and indirect, via depression, negative effect on how adult individuals perceive other people's attitude towards themselves.”

Pletcher BA, O'Connor M, Swift-Taylor ME, DallaPiazza M.
Adverse Childhood Experiences: A Case-Based Workshop Introducing Medical Students to Trauma-Informed Care. MedEdPORTAL. 2019 Feb 9;15:10803. PMID: 30931382
“This educational module on ACEs incorporated a didactic session on the science and health consequences of ACEs and best practices for trauma-informed care, followed by a facilitated case discussion in small groups exploring an ACE survey tool and a resilience questionnaire.” 

Nguyen MW, Heberlein E, Covington-Kolb S, et. al.
Assessing Adverse Childhood Experiences during Pregnancy: Evidence toward a Best Practice. AJP Rep. 2019 Jan;9(1):e54-e59. PMID: 30854244
Of 660 pregnant women approached for ACE survey participation in locations of outpatient waiting rooms, exam rooms, and inpatient, 5% declined, 67% reported 1 or more ACE and 19% report 4 or more ACEs. Women in the waiting room were more likely to decline participation, and those participating as inpatients reported lower scores. Authors believe ideal location to screen is in the outpatient exam rooms.

Ford K, Hughes K, Hardcastle K, et. al.
The evidence base for routine enquiry into adverse childhood experiences: A scoping review. Child Abuse Negl. 2019 May;91:131-146. PMID: 30884399
In a research review, authors state that “Limited literature was found providing evidence for outcomes from enquiry. No studies examined impacts on service user health or service utilization. Few studies explored feasibility or acceptability to inform the application of routine ACE enquiry. The implementation of routine ACE enquiry therefore needs careful consideration.”

Berthelot N, Lemieux R, Lacharité C.
Development of a prenatal program for adults with personal histories of childhood abuse or neglect: a Delphi consensus consultation study. Health Promot Chronic Dis Prev Can. 2018 Nov;38(11):393-403. PMID: 30430814
Canadian experts identified the first set of priorities for a clinical program aimed at supporting expectant parents with personal histories of childhood trauma, to help the parent as both a traumatized person and as a parent, to interrupt intergenerational cycles of abuse.

Choi KR, McCreary M, Ford JD, et. al.
Validation of the Traumatic Events Screening Inventory for ACEs. Pediatrics. 2019 Apr;143(4). pii: e20182546. PMID: 30837293
Description of the 26 item TESI (Traumatic Events Screening Inventory) as a primary care childhood ACEs screening tool for children living in vulnerable neighborhoods with polyvictimization.

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