Adults who had adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have increased risk of negative health outcomes. Despite the prevalence of ACEs, literature is scarce on quality of life (QOL) and ACEs in disadvantaged primary care populations.
To examine the prevalence of ACEs and association with chronic health problems and QOL in disadvantaged primary care patients in Oklahoma.
During a primary care visit, adults completed a questionnaire measuring demographics, ACEs, current health status and well-being, sources of support and adversity, and QOL. A physician investigator reviewed participants’ health records, recording the incidence of 32 diagnoses commonly associated with chronic health problems.
The survey was completed by 354 patients. Forty-three percent received disability benefits and 71% were unemployed. More than 37% reported 4 or more ACEs, and 35.5% had 0 or 1 ACE.The amount of health problems ranged from 0 to 11 and increased with the number of reported ACEs. The mean number of health problems for each ACE level was as follows: ACEs 0 to 1 had 3.01 problems (95% confidence interval = 2.96–3.88), ACEs 2 to 3 had 3.42 problems (95% confidence interval = 2.96–3.88), and ACEs 4 and above had 4.18 problems (95% confidence interval = 3.72–4.64). ACEs were significantly related to QOL.