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Geriatr Nurs. 2017 Sep - Oct;38(5):385-392. doi: 10.1016/j.gerinurse.2016.12.016. Epub 2017 Jan 27.

Preventing elder abuse and neglect in geriatric institutions: Solutions from nursing care providers.

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Institute for Biomedical Ethics, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland. Electronic address:
University of Lucerne, Lucerne, Switzerland.
Felix Platter-Hospital, University Center for Medicine of Aging, Basel, Switzerland.


This study explores how and why abuse and neglect occurs in geriatric institutions and presents practical prevention measures. Exploratory qualitative interviews were carried out with purposive sample of 23 nursing staff members. They were recruited from different institutions caring for older patients in the north-western region of Switzerland. These interviews were analyzed using thematic analysis. Participating nursing staff members reported several factors pertaining to the care provider, the older patient, and the institution that precipitated abuse and neglect. They mentioned different solutions that could help them address their responsibilities in a reasonable manner. The solutions included, for example, ensuring proper education and training, better management nursing care provider's responsibilities and timely intervention to address abuse and neglect, as well as rotating care provider. Implementing these suggestions will allow geriatric institutions, its managers, and nursing care providers to improve quality of care and reduce such negative occurrences in these settings.


Abuse; Neglect; Nursing staff members; Older patients; Prevention; Quality of care

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