A PHS student came across a compelling article in the Washington Post describing the importance of addressing the link between early childhood adversity and later outcomes by mitigating stress and trauma. The success of these interventions seems to rely on effective screening — which takes time and resources from already resource-strapped primary care practices. They write:
Preventive medicine is definitely a front-runner when it comes to promoting public health and minimizing the effects of chronic diseases. This article reviews the proactive screening process, pediatrician, Nadine Burke Harris, uses in order to reduce the long term influence of traumatic childhood experiences. Furthermore, these events, e.g. physical abuse, neglect, living with a family member addicted to drugs or alcohol, ultimately, induce chronic stress at a young age, which has disparate health outcomes, not only as a child, but also as an adult. Harris identifies these stressors and connects patients to interdisciplinary programs aiming to curtail childhood exposure to stress. It is promising that a simple, although time consuming, measure such as screening can be implemented to facilitate a healthier future and higher quality of life.