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Geriatr Nurs. 2006 Sep-Oct;27(5):284-91; quiz 292.

Psychologically abusive behavior by those caring for the elderly in a domestic context.

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Department of Nursing, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan.


Psychological abuse of elders is a growing but hidden problem. This study attempted to determine whether caregivers psychologically abuse their elderly care recipients and identify risk factors contributing to such abuse. Ninety-two caregivers completed this study. The Demographic Sheet, the Caregiver Psychological Elder Abuse Behavior scale (CPEAB), and the Caregiver's Burden Scale were used to collect data. The CPEAB scores for caregivers of the elderly were 20 to 51 (mean 30.45 +/- 7.03). The level of abusive behavior was positively associated with gender, education level, and caregiver's burden and negatively correlated with age (P < .01-.05), suggesting that female caregivers, caregivers with higher levels of education, and caregivers with high burdens demonstrated more severe psychologically abusive behavior. Burden and age accounted for 25.9% of the variance for abusive behaviors. This study provides preliminary data estimating caregiver psychologically abusive behavior and its related risk factors. Analytical results provide important information for medical and social interventions and policies for improving the quality of life of elderly people.

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