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J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2013 Aug;24(3):1021-30. doi: 10.1353/hpu.2013.0120.

The prevalence of trauma and childhood adversity in an urban, hospital-based violence intervention program.


Hospitals represent a promising locus for preventing recurrent interpersonal violence and its psychological sequella. We conducted a cross-sectional analysis to assess the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) among victims of interpersonal violence participating in a hospital-based violence intervention program. Participants completed PTSD and ACE screenings four to six weeks after violent injury, and data were exported from a case management database for analysis. Of the 35 program participants who completed the ACE and/or PTSD screenings, 75.0% met full diagnostic criteria for PTSD, with a larger proportion meeting diagnostic criteria for symptom-specific clusters. For the ACE screening, 56.3% reported three or more ACEs, 34.5% reported five or more ACEs, and 18.8% reported seven or more ACEs. The median ACE score was 3.5. These findings underscore the importance of trauma-informed approaches to violence prevention in urban hospitals and have implications for emergency medicine research and policy.

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