203036 Sexual Abuse of Vulnerable Adults in Nursing Homes

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Marta S. Mendiondo, PhD , Department of Biostatistics, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Pamela B. Teaster, PhD , Graduate Center for Gerontology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
One the least acknowledged public health problems is the sexual abuse of vulnerable adults. Sexual abuse includes unwanted touching; sexual assault or battery, such as rape, sodomy, and coerced nudity; sexually explicit photographing; and sexual contact with any person incapable of giving consent. This hidden form of abuse constitutes less than one percent of all cases reported and substantiated by Adult Protective Services (APS), typically the agency of first report of the mistreatment of vulnerable younger and older adults. Both researchers and practitioners stress that this estimate represents only the most overt of cases. During a six month period in 2005, study data were collected on investigated and substantiated reports of the sexual abuse of adults 18+ in facilities in Texas, Tennessee, Oregon, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire. In addition, data were collected from the Minimum Data Set (MDS) on residents in nursing homes for whom sexual abuse was investigated and substantiated and those who were not. There were 429 allegations of sexual abuse during the study period, and of that number, 136 were in nursing homes. Sexual abuse was substantiated in 78 facility settings, 41 of which were nursing homes. This presentation concerns study and MDS data that explore relationships between characteristics of victims in nursing homes substantiated as being sexually abused and those who were not. It is critical that public health professionals understand the characteristics of these adults in order to effectively prevent, identify, and intervene in the lives of the vulnerable adults who suffer sexual mistreatment.

Learning Objectives:
To understand the nature of sexual abuse in nursing homes To understand the relationship between characteristics of residents substantiated as being sexually abused versus those who are not

Keywords: Violence, Nursing Homes

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Co-PI on this project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.