New article suggests areas of research to better understand risk factors of and protection against elder mistreatment.
More studies are needed in community and health care settings to improve understanding of elder mistreatment risk factors and prevention, clinical management and policy formulation, according to commentary coauthored by XinQi Dong, director of the Rutgers Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research (IHHCPAR) and the inaugural Henry Rutgers Distinguished Professor of Population Health Sciences.
Understanding incidence is the most rigorous way to understand causality and risk associated with elder mistreatment. The article, published on JAMA Network Open, evaluated existing data from the New York State Elder Mistreatment Prevalence Study and the Population-Based Study of Chinese Elderly to set an agenda for future research on incidence of elder mistreatment.
Dong, a leading population health epidemiologist and geriatrician focused on violence prevention, elder justice and healthy aging, notes elder mistreatment is particularly understudied in diverse populations.
“With the rapid growth of diverse populations in the United States, multiple prior studies suggest that elder mistreatment prevalence is higher in historically marginalized populations,” Dong said. “Improving understanding of factors associated with risk of elder mistreatment and factors associated with protection against elder mistreatment could help to inform best strategies for screening, treatment and prevention efforts.”
Recommended areas of research outlined in the article include:
The article is coauthored by Mengting Li, an assistant professor at the Rutgers School of Nursing.
If you suspect that abuse of a loved one has occurred or is occurring, relay your concerns to the local adult protective services, long-term care ombudsman or the police. For more information on elder abuse visit NIA.NIH.gov/Health/Elder-Abuse.