THURSDAY, Oct. 18, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Undergraduate nursing students who had a higher number of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) before enrollment have higher levels of burnout and depression during school, according to a study published online Sept. 22 in the Journal of Professional Nursing.

Gloria McKee-Lopez, Ph.D., from the University of Texas at El Paso School of Nursing, and colleagues assessed the relationship between the number of ACEs reported by 211 first-semester Bachelor of Science in Nursing students and their reported level of burnout and depression. The students completed self-report questionnaires.

The researchers found that the number of ACEs participants reported were significantly related to levels of burnout and severity of depressive symptoms. Specifically, female students with a higher number of ACEs were more likely to report higher levels of burnout A (emotional exhaustion) and burnout B (depersonalization) as well as higher depression severity scores versus male nursing students.

“Nursing programs should educate faculty concerning the frequency and range of adverse experiences that students may have had prior to admission to the nursing program, and the possible relationship with burnout and depression,” the authors write.

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