The Assessment of Adverse Childhood Experiences in Clinical Settings: Practitioner Competencies and Perceptions

This study examined practitioner knowledge, ability, and concerns about the assessment of ACEs among parents and children in clinical settings, and the acceptability of a newly validated measure (The Adverse Life Experiences Scale; ALES) for this purpose. Participants were (N = 144) healthcare practitioners (predominantly psychologists, nurses, social workers, psychiatrists). Measures were completed online, and the effects of family characteristics on practitioner perceptions were tested experimentally using case vignettes. Participants indicated moderate-to-high levels of knowledge and ability regarding the assessment of ACEs, and the ALES demonstrated high levels of acceptability across hypothetical cases involving various levels of risk. Practitioner concerns about such assessment were also found to be influenced by the level of risk indicated by case referral information. Specifically, concerns that assessment would be too upsetting or time consuming were greater in response to a case with a high level of ACEs, compared to one with low-to-moderate ACEs (p < .05; large effect size). Practitioners demonstrated relatively high competencies regarding the assessment of ACEs, and supported the use of the ALES for this purpose. Those families with the highest levels of ACEs may nonetheless be the least likely to receive such assessment in clinical settings.PMID:34704325 | DOI:10.1002/cpp.2679
Source: Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy - Category: Psychiatry Authors: Source Type: research