The Feasibility of Common Screening for Adverse Childhood Experiences in the Primary Care Setting

With the high prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and the strong association between ACEs and significant lifelong increases in morbidity and mortality, health care providers and systems need to understand how to prevent, prioritize, promote resilience and mitigate these toxic effects. However, despite its importance, child health providers such as pediatricians do not routinely screen for ACEs. This workgroup from the University of Florida and the University of Minnesota brings complementary knowledge and strengths to successfully plan for a large-scale implementation of ACEs screening.

POD 3 will begin by planning an ACEs Summit whereby we will develop plans to work towards large-scale projects that will link pre-existing data from our respective institutions with existing EHR data. The goal will be three-fold: 1) identify common language used to describe early identifiable risk factors for ACEs observed in primary care settings, 2) develop and pilot test a set of screeners for various age groups of children to be implemented at each of the four institutions and 3) calculate the sensitivity and specificity of the of the screeners being used to identify subsequent ACEs by collecting follow-up data on a random sample of children and their families.

Working off the central hypothesis that health care systems that implement a common system, specifically linked to electronic health records, will best address children’s needs to avoid or mitigate the toxic effects of ACEs, we believe this grant will make a significant impact on improving the health of children across their lifespan.

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)