Published on

A common screening tool used to evaluate health and adversity is in need of a modern makeover, according to a perspective in STAT News written by a graduate student at George Washington University. The screening questionnaire—the adverse childhood experience (ACE) tool that quantifies early experiences related to abuse, violence, and neglect—can indicate risk for long-term health effects throughout life. The higher an individual’s ACE score, the greater the risk of negative health outcomes. According to the author, an update to the ACE tool should now include questions specifically about childhood exposure to gun violence. Some 3 million children are exposed to gun violence each year in the United States, causing death, injury, trauma, and the development of chronic mental and physical health conditions.

ACE for kids and adults: The ACE questionnaire launched in the 1980s. Although it asks generally about violence, it doesn’t specify gun violence, which the author believes deserves deeper study. Several versions of the ACE questionnaire are available for different populations, including children, adolescents, and adults. Organizations, such as the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and American Academy of Pediatrics, recommend the screening. As urgent care centers expand their reach, some may find the ACE tool a structured way of collecting additional patient information.

Read More

Should the ACEs Screening Tool Consider Gun Violence?