Examining the effect of adverse childhood experiences on health related quality of life
Introduction: Previous studies have demonstrated detrimental effects of exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) on Health Related Quality of Life (HRQOL). The current study seeks to replicate these previous findings using an empirically tested measurement model of ACEs. Method: Data analysis was carried out using ACE data available from the 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS). These data included 57,703 adults sampled across 10 states and the District of Columbia. Adverse Childhood Experiences were measured using the Household Dysfunction, Emotional/Physical Abuse, and Sexual abuse subscales comprising the BRFSS ACE module. The number of physically and mentally unhealthy days in the past month that individuals rated their physical or mental health as not good were used as HRQOL outcomes. Multiple regression was used to estimate the effects of ACE exposure on HRQOL after statistical adjustment for socio-demographic factors. Results: Results suggest that household dysfunction (p < 0.001), emotional abuse (p < 0.001), and sexual abuse (p < 0.001) significantly predicted the number of reported mentally unhealthy days. However, whereas emotional (p < 0.01) and sexual abuse (p < 0.02) were found to be associated with the number of physically unhealthy days, household dysfunction was statistically unrelated (p = 0.70). Conclusions: Results of this study are consistent with previous studies that ACEs are an important determinant of HRQOL. They further suggest that successfully reducing the exposure of children to ACEs or providing early intervention to victims of child abuse may result in improvement in HRQOL in the general population.
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Describe the long term impact of ACE components on HRQOL.
Keyword(s): Health, Child Abuse
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been actively engaged in behavioral and epidemiological research focusing on Health Related Quality of Life and Well-being. Among my scientific interests has been the study of psychosocial determinants of mental and physical health including the investigation of protective factors that moderate the impact of adverse childhood experiences.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
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