Project Title

Knowledge and perceptions of ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences) among parents and providers in Northeast Tennessee

Authors' Affiliations

Hakyong G. Kwak1, Olushola D. Fapo2, Gayatri B. Jaishankar MD 1, Matthew Tolliver PhD 1, Deborah Thibeault LCSW 1 & Karen E. Schetzina MD, MPH 1 1James H. Quillen College of Medicine and Department of Pediatrics and Department of Social Work, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN 2College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN

Location

Mt. Mitchell Room 220

Start Date

4-5-2018 8:00 AM

End Date

4-5-2018 12:00 PM

Poster Number

134

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Karen E. Schetzina MD, MPH

Faculty Sponsor's Department

Department of Pediatrics

Type

Poster: Competitive

Classification of First Author

Medical Student

Project's Category

Biomedical and Health Sciences

Abstract Text

Background: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are a risk factor for the development of future physical and mental health problems. Programs are needed that prevent and address the impact of ACEs on a population-based level. As a pediatric primary care clinic serving Northeast Tennessee, our goal was to better understand the knowledge and perceptions of the effects of ACEs among parents/caregivers and health professionals in Northeast Tennessee.

Methods: During the summer of 2017, 51 parents/caregivers visiting a health education table at a family event in a local public library completed an anonymous survey to help us understand what people think about how ACEs affect children and adults. 20 health care professionals at a local pediatric primary care clinic completed the same anonymous survey. Survey results were entered into Excel and analyzed using Excel and SPSS.

Results: Fewer than one-third of parents/caregivers in this sample had heard of the term "ACEs" prior to receiving this survey. However, after being provided with a definition of ACEs, most respondents agreed that ACEs could affect children's behavior and adult mental health. Agreement was less for perceptions of effects on physical health in adults. Most respondents recognized that a parent’s own ACE exposure could make parenting more difficult and that having a strong support system is helpful in counteracting these negative effects. Healthcare providers were more likely than parents/caregivers to have heard of the term ACEs before, however only half were familiar with the term. After being provided with a definition of ACEs, most healthcare providers agreed on their effects on children and adults. Perceptions that having a strong support system could counteract the effects of ACEs were slightly lower among health care providers as compared to parents/caregivers.

Conclusion: The low awareness of ACEs found by our survey confirms the need for a new initiative to screen for ACEs and provide trauma-informed care in our clinic. The project, Baby Steps for Success, will involve screening children and parents/caregivers for ACEs, providing brief education on ACEs, and building resilience. Engaging and supporting families around healthy behaviors and interactions will be accomplished using Reach Out and Read and ReadNPlay for a Bright Future beginning in early infancy. Intervention with the Incredible Years program and Ecomap assessments will be provided to high-risk families with 2 or more ACEs. Families with four or more ACEs will be offered the Nurturing Parenting curriculum through a series of home and group visits. Partners for this project will include ETSU Pediatrics, Families Free, and the Northeast TN Regional Health Office.

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Apr 5th, 8:00 AM Apr 5th, 12:00 PM

Knowledge and perceptions of ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences) among parents and providers in Northeast Tennessee

Mt. Mitchell Room 220

Background: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are a risk factor for the development of future physical and mental health problems. Programs are needed that prevent and address the impact of ACEs on a population-based level. As a pediatric primary care clinic serving Northeast Tennessee, our goal was to better understand the knowledge and perceptions of the effects of ACEs among parents/caregivers and health professionals in Northeast Tennessee.

Methods: During the summer of 2017, 51 parents/caregivers visiting a health education table at a family event in a local public library completed an anonymous survey to help us understand what people think about how ACEs affect children and adults. 20 health care professionals at a local pediatric primary care clinic completed the same anonymous survey. Survey results were entered into Excel and analyzed using Excel and SPSS.

Results: Fewer than one-third of parents/caregivers in this sample had heard of the term "ACEs" prior to receiving this survey. However, after being provided with a definition of ACEs, most respondents agreed that ACEs could affect children's behavior and adult mental health. Agreement was less for perceptions of effects on physical health in adults. Most respondents recognized that a parent’s own ACE exposure could make parenting more difficult and that having a strong support system is helpful in counteracting these negative effects. Healthcare providers were more likely than parents/caregivers to have heard of the term ACEs before, however only half were familiar with the term. After being provided with a definition of ACEs, most healthcare providers agreed on their effects on children and adults. Perceptions that having a strong support system could counteract the effects of ACEs were slightly lower among health care providers as compared to parents/caregivers.

Conclusion: The low awareness of ACEs found by our survey confirms the need for a new initiative to screen for ACEs and provide trauma-informed care in our clinic. The project, Baby Steps for Success, will involve screening children and parents/caregivers for ACEs, providing brief education on ACEs, and building resilience. Engaging and supporting families around healthy behaviors and interactions will be accomplished using Reach Out and Read and ReadNPlay for a Bright Future beginning in early infancy. Intervention with the Incredible Years program and Ecomap assessments will be provided to high-risk families with 2 or more ACEs. Families with four or more ACEs will be offered the Nurturing Parenting curriculum through a series of home and group visits. Partners for this project will include ETSU Pediatrics, Families Free, and the Northeast TN Regional Health Office.