225939 National Elder Mistreatment Study

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 1:15 PM - 1:30 PM

Ronald Acierno, PhD , MUSC Crime Victims Center, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC
The goal of this presentation is to review background information about, and core findings of the National Elder Mistreatment Study, the largest epidemiological investigation of elder abuse and assault conducted to date. Random Digit Dialing methodology was used to derive a nationally representative sample of 5,777 adults aged 60 and above. Participants were interviewed via telephone in English or Spanish about a variety of mistreatment types and mistreatment risk factors, in addition to questions regarding health, social support, and demographics. Specific elder mistreatment categories included emotional, physical, sexual, financial, and neglect. Results The cooperation rate was 69% for the sample. 60.2% of the older adults were women and 39.8% were men. The average age of respondents was 71.5 years (SD = 8.1) with a range of 60 to 97 years. Past-year mistreatment prevalences were as follows: emotional: 4.6%; physical: 1.6%; sexual: 0.6%; current potential neglect: 5.1%; current financial exploitation by family: 5.2%. Considering only emotional, physical, sexual, and potential neglect (i.e., excluding financial mistreatment), 11% reported at least one form of past year mistreatment, 1.2% reported 2 or more forms of past year mistreatment, and 0.2% reported 3 forms of mistreatment. Low social support emerged as a central risk factor for virtually all forms of elder mistreatment. Programs that enhance and build relationships between older adults and members of their community, that is, programs that act against the age-related forces of isolation (reduced mobility, poorer health, increased morbidity of friends and family) have the potential to yield extremely high benefits.

Learning Areas:
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Describe the largest prevalence study on elder mistreatment in the country.

Keywords: Aging, Violence

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been researching and publishing in this field for over 15 years.
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.

Back to: 4188.0: Elder Abuse Symposium