A systematic review of practitioner enquiry into adverse childhood experiences in primary care

This article presents the findings of a systematic review undertaken to assess adverse childhood experiences (ACE) enquiry among practitioners of primary care for children’s services. Literature was eligible for inclusion if it included the primary care practitioner experience of ACE enquiry, was published from 1998–2021 and was in English. The most frequently cited themes across all included studies were time and training, with time the most commonly cited barrier. The findings indicate that aspects of the health visitor service model include facilitators to integrate ACE enquiry into routine health visitor practice, although the research highlights barriers of time and resources. Further research is required to expand the limited evidence base for incorporating ACE enquiry into health visitor practice in the UK and to similar models of care internationally.


University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Louise Ashe, Derbyshire Community Health Service NHS Trust

David Nelson, University of Lincoln, Lincoln International Institute for Rural Health

Aneesa Lindau, Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Ian McGonagle, University of Lincoln, School of Health and Social Care

Ros Kane, University of Lincoln, School of Health and Social Care