Higher use of general health care services throughout adult life linked with traumatic childhoods
Experiencing physical, sexual or emotional abuse as a child, or other stresses such as living in a household affected by domestic violence, substance abuse or mental illness, can lead to higher levels of health service use throughout adulthood.
A research paper in the Journal of Health Service Research & Policy provides, for the first time, the statistical evidence showing that, regardless of socio-economic class or other demographics, people who have adverse childhood experiences use more health and medical services through their lifetime.
The research showed that:
- Individuals who suffered multiple types of ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences – physical, sexual or emotional abuse or other stresses such as living in a household with domestic violence or with adult substance abuse or mental illness) are more than twice as likely to use hospital emergency departments, require overnight hospital stays or be frequent users of general practices as adults.