Screening and detection of elder abuse: Research opportunities and lessons learned from emergency geriatric care, intimate partner violence, and child abuse

Scott R. Beach, Christopher R. Carpenter, Tony Rosen, Phyllis Sharps, Richard Gelles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article provides an overview of elder abuse screening and detection methods for community-dwelling and institutionalized older adults, including general issues and challenges for the field. Then, discussions of applications in emergency geriatric care, intimate partner violence (IPV), and child abuse are presented to inform research opportunities in elder abuse screening. The article provides descriptions of emerging screening and detection methods and technologies from the emergency geriatric care and IPV fields. We also discuss the variety of potential barriers to effective screening and detection from the viewpoint of the older adult, caregivers, providers, and the health care system, and we highlight the potential harms and unintended negative consequences of increased screening and mandatory reporting. We argue that research should continue on the development of valid screening methods and tools, but that studies of perceived barriers and potential harms of elder abuse screening among key stakeholders should also be conducted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-216
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Elder Abuse and Neglect
Volume28
Issue number4-5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 19 2016

Keywords

  • Child abuse
  • elder abuse screening
  • emergency geriatric care
  • intimate partner violence
  • mandatory reporting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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