Elder abuse: disparities between older people's disclosure of abuse, evident signs of abuse, and high risk of abuse 

Author(s)Cohen, Miri, Sarah Halevy Levin, Roni Gagin and Gideon Friedman
Title Elder abuse:disparities between older people's disclosure of abuse, evident signs of abuse, and high risk of abuse
Source Journal of the American Geriatrics Society,August 2007, Vol. 55, Issue 8, pp 1224-1230
Date 2007
Document type Journal article
Coverage Israel
Summary This study assesses three types of assessment tools and their reliability in identifying elder abuse. The first type of tool is direct questioning of the older person, the second group of tools are screening and assessment tools that check for evident signs of different kinds of abuse such as bruising, transfer of property and low hygiene, and the third group of tools is concerned with the identification of risk factors. Participants in the study were 730 elderly patients from two hospitals in Israel. The results showed a disparity in rates of identification of elder abuse according to different assessment methods. It was found that 5.9% of the elderly patients disclosed experiencing abuse through direct questioning, compared to 21.4% of the patients that the professionals identified as having signs of abuse. A further 32.6% of the patients were identified as being at high risk of abuse. The findings provide empirical evidence that there are more older people who are exposed to abuse than who admits to it. The authors conclude that no single assessment method is optimal and recommend the use of all three assessment tools concurrently, and as part of routine screening.
Keywords Elder abuse; disclosure; screening; high risk; evident signs
Topic Elder abuse