Date of Graduation

Spring 5-18-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

First Advisor

Trinette Radasa

Second Advisor

Jo Loomis


Background: Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are potentially traumatic events that occur between the ages of 0 to 17 in which are directly associated, in a dose–response manner, to many of the most common and serious health problems in the United States.

Local Problem: 62% of California residents have experienced at least one ACE, and 16% have experienced at least four ACEs. ACEs are linked to nine of the ten leading causes of death in the United States Adults with four or more ACEs are 37.5 times more likely to attempt suicide, 3.2 times more likely to have chronic lower respiratory disease, 2.3 times more likely to have a stroke, cancer, or heart disease and 1.4 times more likely to have diabetes. ACEs are preventable.

Methods: This project is in collaboration with Save the Children, an international nonprofit nongovernmental organization with the mission of addressing children’s physical and mental health needs. In order to address this public health problem, community health workers (CHWs), alongside health care professionals, are utilized to prevent and address ACEs.

Interventions: The intervention was to research, design, and teach an ACEs prevention curriculum for the CHWs from Save the Children. The curriculum was instructed through synchronous Zoom didactic courses and constructed using Canvas for Teachers platform during Fall 2022 semester. The effectiveness of each class or module was measured by pre-tests and post-tests.

Results: The aim of this project was to increase CHWs' knowledge base by 25% or more on ACEs and prevention. The average increase in scores for the entire course was 32.40% which was statistically significant (p = .00295). Aim of the project was met.

Conclusions: With adequate education and training, CHWs may effectively lower the prevalence and/or harmful effects of ACEs.