149204 Instruments for Assessing Elder Mistreatment: Implications for Adult Protective Services

Monday, November 5, 2007

Amanda J. Lehning, MSS , Bay Area Social Services Consortium, University of California, Berkeley, CA
Elizabeth K. Anthony, MSW, PhD , Bay Area Social Services Consortium, University of California, Berkeley, CA
Michael J. Austin, MSW, PhD , Bay Area Social Services Consortium, University of California, Berkeley, CA
Efforts to create assessment instruments for detecting elder mistreatment are hindered by such complex factors as a lack of consensus about definitions, different theories of causation, and inadequate funding. Despite such difficulties, there is a growing recognition of the need for psychometrically sound instruments that can assist practitioners in a variety of settings to screen, detect, and assess elder mistreatment

This structured review used pre-determined search terms and search sources to identify research literature related to elder mistreatment assessment. Nineteen instruments were located using the search strategy. Given the difference in purpose and evaluation criteria, screening and assessment instruments were divided into two broad categories—screening instruments and assessment protocols/guidelines. Inclusion criteria for quantitative screening instruments included: (1) the instrument was developed to assess elder mistreatment and (2) information regarding psychometric properties, however limited, was documented. Inclusion criteria for assessment protocols/guidelines included only the first of the above criteria given that very few have been evaluated. A comparison of screening instruments is presented, along with a discussion of their applicability to adult protective services.

Findings indicate that elder abuse instruments—and the elder mistreatment assessment field in general—remain underdeveloped. Existing instruments require further refinement and testing while new instruments need to be developed with rigorous methodology and attention to appropriate theoretical underpinnings. Specific recommendations for elder mistreatment researchers and adult protective services workers are discussed.

Learning Objectives:
1. Evaluate existing elder mistreatment assessment instruments 2. Discuss the applicability of existing instruments for adult protective services and identify areas in which assessment instruments require further development 3. Design research to develop psychometrically sound,comprehensive assessment instruments for elder mistreatment and improve the adult protective services assessment process

Keywords: Elderly, Social Work

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.