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J Pediatr. 2018 Nov;202:258-264.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2018.07.021. Epub 2018 Sep 14.

Adverse Childhood Experiences Are Associated with Unmet Healthcare Needs among Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Author information

1
Department of Social Work, University of South Dakota, Sioux Falls, SD. Electronic address: kristin.l.berg@usd.edu.
2
School of Nursing, University of California-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA.
3
Department of Health Services Management, College of Health Sciences, Rush University, Chicago, IL.
4
Comer Children's Hospital, and Kennedy Research Center on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, University of Chicago Medicine, Chicago, IL.
5
Department of Disability & Human Development & Pediatrics, University of Illinois-Chicago, Chicago, IL.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To explore associations between level of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and unmet healthcare needs among children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) using a population-based sample.

STUDY DESIGN:

Cross-sectional data from the 2011-2012 National Survey of Child Health were analyzed to estimate prevalence of unmet healthcare needs among children with ASD, aged 2-17 years (ASD = 1624; estimated population = 1 174 871). Multivariate Poisson and logistic regression models were used to estimate the relationship between reported ACEs and unmet healthcare needs among children with ASD.

RESULTS:

After we adjusted for all other variables, children with ASD who experienced 1-2 ACEs and 3+ ACEs were associated with 1.78 (P < .05) and 2.53 (P < .01) times the incidence rate of unmet healthcare needs in comparison with children without ACEs. Compared with children who experienced 0 ACEs, the adjusted odds of any unmet healthcare need were 2.34 (P < .01) and 2.66 (P < .01) for children with 1-2 ACEs and 3 + ACEs, respectively.

CONCLUSION:

Although limited to cross-sectional data, our study provides compelling evidence on the link between ACEs and unmet healthcare needs among children with ASD. It advances understanding of risk factors in the child and community context that contribute to health disparities and negatively impact healthcare access and use in this population.

KEYWORDS:

adverse childhood experiences (ACEs); autism spectrum disorder (ASD); disparities; healthcare

PMID:
30220443
DOI:
10.1016/j.jpeds.2018.07.021
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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