Date of Award

Summer 2021

Document Type

Final DNP Paper

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Family Nurse Practitioner

Department

Nursing

Faculty Chair

Dr. Allison Crabtree

Preceptor

Dr. Jean Stanko and Dr. Tara Howell

Abstract

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are present in approximately 60% of the adult population in the United States. There is a correlation between adverse childhood experiences and chronic health conditions as adults. Despite the evidence showing this correlation, there is a lack of screening for ACEs in the primary care setting. Many primary care providers and staff are unaware of ACEs or the correlation with chronic health conditions and substance abuse and, therefore, do not understand how to or recognize the benefits of screening in primary care. With education for providers and staff, primary care is the ideal setting to perform screenings for ACEs. Identifying a patient with a high ACEs score can improve patient outcomes for chronic health conditions or substance abuse. After identifying a patient with a high ACEs score, appropriate interventions can be implemented and appropriate referrals can be made to mental health for counseling and treatment.

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