250176 Linking cases of elder maltreatment to injury and violent deaths: A collaboration between Adult Protective Services and the North Carolina Violent Death Reporting System

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 5:42 PM

Scott Proescholdbell, MPH , Injury and Violence Prevention Branch, Chronic Disease and Injury Section, N.C. Division of Public Health, Raleigh, NC
Nancy Warren, BA , Adult Services Program, N.C. Division of Aging and Adult Services, Raleigh, NC
Christopher Cowden, MPH , Injury and Violence Prevention Branch, N.C. Division of Public Health, Raleigh, NC
Tammy Norwood, BS , NC-DHHS Division of Public Health, NC Injury and Violence Prevention Branch, Raleigh, NC
Katherine Harmon, MPH , Chronic Disease and Injury Section, North Carolina Division of Public Health, CSTE Fellow, Raleigh, NC
Background: Elder maltreatment is a growing problem for the nation, and yet adequate public health surveillance is currently lacking. North Carolina is one of three states piloting a project to link data collected through their respective Violent Death Reporting Systems (VDRS) with Adult Protective Services (APS) information. N.C. is partnering with its state's APS for additional insight into the elder maltreatment problem through improved surveillance.

Methods: N.C. linked electronic files from APS with VDRS for the years 2005-2008 based on standard linking methodologies; particular attention was paid to suspected violent deaths (homicides and suicides). From matched cases, key variables from each data system were analyzed using SAS. A unique database of successfully matched cases was developed based on collection methods developed by other states' elder abuse fatality review teams.

Results: Preliminary linkage of 2005-2006 data resulted in 6,557 matched cases (total deaths=150,345) between APS and death certificate records. N.C. identified another 25 cases suspected of being violent in nature; most of these cases were male (60%) and died as a result of self-inflicted injuries (72%). Additional analyses will be presented including case histories, type of abuse, reason for referral to APS, and perpetrator information.

Conclusions: As the number of elder maltreatment cases continues to rise in states, linking data is imperative for the development of viable prevention and control strategies. The results of this study will help the community respond to elder maltreatment through the development of policy and program objectives.

Learning Areas:

Learning Objectives:
1) Identify and describe key aspects of elder maltreatment and injury and violent death 2) Discuss the importance of the additional information acquired through the data linkage and what it provides in terms of prevention and program development 3) Assess the relative ease to which the methodology can be applied to other locations

Keywords: Elderly, Injury

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I worked on analyzing data and report writing for the elder maltreatment 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.