Dr Kirsty Ross
Senior Clinical Psychologist & Senior Lecturer In Clinical Psychology, School of Psychology, Massey University, Auckland, NZ
Kirsty is a Senior Clinical Psychologist and Senior Lecturer at Massey University Palmerston North. Clinically, her career as a psychologist has spanned 17 years, and has focused on children, youth and families for all of that time. For the past 12 years, she has worked with youth and families managing the challenges of long term health conditions (including a specific interest in cancer and palliative care), and has become increasingly interested in the management of persistent pain during that time. Kirsty also has an interest in anxiety, and runs seminars for parents in the community around skills and tools they can use to support their children. She has been involved in the writing of a therapy programme around procedural distress and have research interests in self-care of parents of young people with long-term health conditions, the needs of siblings, and paediatric/AYA oncology.
Kirsty was born with a health condition which has resulted in significant involvement with the health system throughout her life and personal experience of persistent pain.
Kirsty is currently the Secretary of the joint PinC SIG group and is delighted to have the opportunity to contribute to the Paediatric Special Interest Group Day in 2019.
Adverse Childhood Events and Long Term Outcomes
In 1998, Felitti and colleagues published their ground breaking study exploring the impact of adverse childhood experiences on physical and psychological health outcomes in adults. Adverse childhood experiences have been defined as "childhood events, varying in severity and often chronic, occurring in a child's family or social environment that cause harm or distress, thereby disrupting the child's physical or psychological health and development." Felitti et al’s (1998) scale is made up of 10 items. Five concern aspects of child maltreatment and five items centre on parental or family incapacities. Recent studies have suggested expanding the items to include challenges for young people in contemporary society (such as social isolation through social media bullying). Research over the last 30 years has produced a large body of literature pointing to the significant impact of ACES on later health outcomes, as a result of 'toxic stress' on a person physically, cognitively, emotionally and interpersonally. Dr Robert Block, a former president of the American Academy of Paediatrics, stated that "ACES are the single greatest unaddressed public health threat facing our nation today". One outcome that has been recently studied is the potential contribution ACES may have towards the development of persistent pain. This talk will provide an overview of the current knowledge on ACES, moving to talk specifically about persistent pain. A discussion of how to incorporate "hope infused, trauma informed care" into everyday practice will aim to provide some practical ways to explore and acknowledge the impact of ACES for the people you work with.