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Papers of the Week

2019 Apr 26

J Burn Care Res



The Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) on Burn Outcomes in Adult Burn Patients.


Fassel M, Grieve B, Hosseini S, Oral R, Galet C, Ryan C, Kazis L, Pengsheng N, Wibbenmeyer L
J Burn Care Res. 2019 Apr 26; 40(3):294-301.
PMID: 30873544.


Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), including child maltreatment and household dysfunction, define adverse events that occur before 18 years of age. National and state data show that between 12.5 and 14.5% of the adult population report ≥4 ACEs (HIGH-ACE), respectively. HIGH-ACEs are associated with more chronic health problems. To date, the interaction between ACEs and burn injuries has not been studied. Herein, we sought to define the ACE exposure in our burn patients and its impact on early outcomes. Inpatient and outpatient adult burn survivors (≥18 years of age) were enrolled. Subjects completed surveys assessing adverse experiences (ACEs-18), needs, strengths, and resiliency at consent, and pain, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and social participation surveys at 2-weeks to 3-months post injury. Demographics, burn, and hospital course data were also collected. Chi-square and student's t-tests were used for descriptive analysis and to compare the groups (HIGH-ACE vs. LOW-ACE). The HIGH-ACE group (n = 24; 45.3%) reported more depressive symptoms (p < 0.04) than the LOW-ACE group (n = 29, 54.7%). HIGH-ACE patients were less resilient when facing stressful events (p ≤ 0.02) and more likely to screen positive for probable PTSD (p = 0.01) and to score lower on the Life Impact Burn Recovery Evaluation Profile (LIBRE Profile), which assesses for social participation, in the domain of Family and Friends (p = 0.015). Our exploratory study suggests that ACE screening may help detect burn patients at risk for a more complicated recovery, thereby promoting personalized assistance in recovery.