Report finds program decreased ER visits and reduced physician stress; families served had high ACE incidence

A new report released today from Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago found that a family health care intervention program decreased emergency room visits and reduced physician stress among the participants in the program. The study — Support, Connect and Nurture (SCAN): Addressing the impact of ACEs in the pediatric medical home — also found that parents who were assessed as having higher resiliency had lower levels of depression and poor health as adults, even though they experienced trauma as children.

“Higher levels of resilience was related to lower rates of substance use, healthier eating, more exercise and greater overall health,” said lead author Dr. Julie McCrae. “This tells us that we that evidence-based programs designed to build resilience following childhood trauma are a good long-term investment.”

The 3.5-year study took place with staff and patients at the Southern Colorado Family Medical Residency in Pueblo, Colorado. The program studied provides patient education and support to families. Supports include a family development specialist, access to parenting programs and routine office visits. SCAN patients’ comparatively high rate Adverse Childhood Experiences placed them at greater risk for poor health outcomes.

The study included 889 adult patients and 23 health clinic staff who participated in the intervention from October 2015 through March 2019. The study assessed the experiences of patients and clinic staff. Specific findings included:

  • Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) predicted depression and poorer health in adulthood.
  • Those who were assessed as having higher resiliency had lower levels of depression.
  • Medical providers reported a reduction in stress and that they were better able to address family needs.
  • Patients reported high satisfaction with their health care and with the SCAN Family Development Specialists.
  • Emergency department visits significantly decreased after participation in the SCAN program.

Read more about the study, and download the full report