J Med Assoc Thai 2021; 104 (5):807-13

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Adverse Childhood Experiences among Thai Patients with Depressive Disorders: A University/Tertiary Care Hospital Experiences
Vongsuphakphan P , Piyavhatkul N Mail, Paholpak S , Chaiudomsom K , Piyawattanametha S , Jarassaeng N

Background: Childhood trauma and adverse experiences are common in patients with depressive disorders, and yet, there is a lack of research in this area in Thailand.

Objective: To determine the prevalence and types of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) among patients with depressive disorders and the association between ACEs and some characteristics of depressive patients.

Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted in patients with depressive disorders at a university hospital in northeastern Thailand. The patients were interviewed using the ACEs questionnaire, investigating the 10 most common types of childhood trauma. Statistical analyses included descriptive statistics and association analyses.

Results: Among the 119 patients who completed the questionnaire, 98 (82.4%) had major depressive disorder (MDD) and 21 (17.6%) had persistent depressive disorder (PDD). Most (62.2%) had at least one type of ACEs with 60.2% in MDD and 71.4% in PDD. The three most common traumatic events were emotional neglect (37.8%), verbal abuse (27.7%), and having family members with alcohol or substance abuse (21%). Only emotional neglect was related to further suicidal risk. A total score of 4 or more significantly increased the risk of admission (OR 23.42, 95% CI 5.73 to 95.78) and suicide attempts (OR 3.68, 95% CI 1.14 to 11.9).

Conclusion: About two-thirds of patients with a depressive disorder had at least one type of childhood trauma, and the most common type was emotional neglect. In patients with depression, a history of ACEs should be evaluated before formulating the psychological trauma treatment plan. The authors recommend pro-active strategies for educating and counseling parents regarding appropriate parenting to reduce the incidence of ACEs for their children.

Keywords: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), Depression, Childhood trauma

DOI: doi.org/10.35755/jmedassocthai.2021.05.12147

Received 21 October 2020 | Revised 9 February 2021 | Accepted 9 February 2021


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