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Med J Aust. 1992 Nov 16;157(10):673-6.

Patterns of elder abuse.

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1
Geriatric and Rehabilitation Service, Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital and Community Health Services, NSW.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To establish the rate of occurrence and patterns of elder abuse, and outcomes of intervention, in an Australian population.

DESIGN:

Retrospective review of medical records over a 12-month period from July 1990 to June 1991.

SETTING:

An area-based geriatric and rehabilitation service attached to a district hospital.

PATIENTS:

Referred patients over 65 years of age, who lived in private homes and who met a predetermined definition of elder abuse.

RESULTS:

The rate of occurrence of elder abuse in the study population was 4.6%, with 29 cases of psychological abuse, 25 cases of physical abuse, 16 cases of neglect, and 13 cases of material/financial abuse. Patterns of abuse were identified and related to dependency of the older person (42%), psychopathology of the abuser (37%), family violence (14%), and carer stress (5%). Interventions and outcomes varied according to the pattern of abuse.

CONCLUSION:

The rate of occurrence and patterns of abuse of the elderly have been established for the first time in an Australian population. Intervention aimed at reducing the impact of elder abuse is effective, and should be tailored to the pattern of abuse that is occurring.

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PMID:
1435409
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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