Substance Use Research Event (SURE 2021) Abstract - Bassema Abu-Farsakh

Potential Factors to Consider While Approaching Depressed Individuals Who Use Tobacco and Experienced  Childhood Adversities

Authors: Bassema Abu-Farsakh1, Okoli Chizimuzo1  

1 University of Kentucky College of Nursing 

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) impact the lives of more than 50% of individuals in the U.S. Moreover, it is one of the leading causes of adopting unhealthy behaviors such as tobacco use and reporting depression diagnosis.  

The eco-bio-developmental model helps explain the relationship between ACE, tobacco, and depression highlighted the crucial need to address ACEs among individuals with health problems associated with childhood trauma and suggested a bidirectional relationship between their outcomes.  

Purpose: This review aimed to address potential confounders that affect both depression and tobacco use among individuals with ACEs history. Identifying the variables may help the clinicians to emphasize on their impact while treating the affected individual. 

Methods: We conducted a comprehensive search for evidence from Psych info, CINAHL, PubMed that considered the relationship between ACEs, tobacco, and depression. 

Results: A total of 22 articles were selected to assess possible confounders between ACEs, tobacco use, and depression. Across these studies, researchers often treated age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, and marital status in the relationship between ACEs, tobacco, and depression as confounders. Moreover, other variables appeared necessary but less likely to be addressed among the identified evidence. These variables included: alcohol use, onset of tobacco use, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)/traumatic life event/ being transferred from a child welfare agency, income/employment/living condition, perceived social support, body mass index, type of ACEs, sum score of ACEs, family wealth, and the state of living. 

Conclusion: Literature identified varies factors that affect both tobacco use and depression. Based on these findings, clinicians may need to keep these factors on their mind while approaching people who used tobacco, were diagnosed with depression, and reported ACEs.