Prevalence and clinical implication of adverse childhood experiences and their association with substance use disorder among patients with schizophrenia

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Background: Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and substance use disorder (SUD) are well-known risk factors for psychosis and dramatically affect schizophrenia. In this research, we aimed to measure the prevalence of adverse childhood experiences and substance use disorder in patients with schizophrenia and assess the effect of ACEs on the clinical presentation and overall functioning and the association between them and SUD in patients with schizophrenia. A cross-sectional study included a random sample of 165 schizophrenic patients who were examined by doing drug screen in urine, structured questionnaire to collect Socioeconomic characteristics, history of schizophrenia, structured clinical interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-fifth edition, Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), Adverse Childhood Experiences International Questionnaire (ACE-IQ), World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0, compliance rating scale, addiction severity index fifth edition (ASI) for individuals with positive urine drug screen. Results: Only 14.4% of the studied patients had no adverse childhood experiences. The prevalence of positive substance abuse screening was 18.2%. There were statistically significant negative correlations between total ACE score and educational level, socioeconomic level, and the onset of schizophrenia. On the other hand, statistically significant positive correlations were found between the total ACE score and PANSS score and ASI score. The first most frequent ACE was significantly associated with female gender, lower education levels, low and middle socioeconomic classes, lifetime substance use, smokers, and positive drug screening. Emotional neglect and contact sexual abuse were significantly associated with positive drug screening. At the same time, Physical abuse was significantly associated with both lifetime substance use and positive drug screening. Conclusion: The current study’s findings indicate that childhood adverse experiences and substance abuse are prevalent problems in patients with schizophrenia. Given that there is an association between both issues, they may affect the symptomatology of the disorder, the prognosis, and the therapeutic plan. It is advised that a greater emphasis on and identification of childhood trauma and drug use disorder may be a necessary step in assessing patients with schizophrenia.




Yousef, A. M., Mohamed, A. E., Eldeeb, S. M., & Mahdy, R. S. (2022). Prevalence and clinical implication of adverse childhood experiences and their association with substance use disorder among patients with schizophrenia. Egyptian Journal of Neurology, Psychiatry and Neurosurgery, 58(1).

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