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Interventions to support people exposed to adverse childhood experiences: systematic review of systematic reviews

Lorenc, T; Lester, S; Sutcliffe, K; Stansfield, C; Thomas, J; (2020) Interventions to support people exposed to adverse childhood experiences: systematic review of systematic reviews. BMC Public Health , 20 (1) , Article 657. 10.1186/s12889-020-08789-0. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) such as abuse, neglect or household adversity may have a range of serious negative impacts. There is a need to understand what interventions are effective to improve outcomes for people who have experienced ACEs. METHODS: Systematic review of systematic reviews. We searched 18 database sources from 2007 to 2018 for systematic reviews of effectiveness data on people who experienced ACEs aged 3-18, on any intervention and any outcome except incidence of ACEs. We included reviews with a summary quality score (AMSTAR) of 5.5 or above. RESULTS: Twenty-five reviews were included. Most reviews focus on psychological interventions and mental health outcomes. The strongest evidence is for cognitive-behavioural therapy for people exposed to abuse. For other interventions - including psychological therapies, parent training, and broader support interventions - the findings overall are inconclusive, although there are some positive results. CONCLUSIONS: There are significant gaps in the evidence on interventions for ACEs. Most approaches focus on mitigating individual psychological harms, and do not address the social pathways which may mediate the negative impacts of ACEs. Many negative impacts of ACEs (e.g. on health behaviours, social relationships and life circumstances) have also not been widely addressed by intervention studies.

Type: Article
Title: Interventions to support people exposed to adverse childhood experiences: systematic review of systematic reviews
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s12889-020-08789-0
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-020-08789-0
Language: English
Additional information: © 2020 BioMed Central Ltd unless otherwise stated. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Adverse childhood experiences, Child abuse, Resilience, psychological, Systematic review
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10097723
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