Introduction: The British Geriatrics Society states that specialists working in older people's health care are in a pivotal position to recognise abuse, work with multi-agency teams to investigate cases of concern and develop strategies for prevention. A systematic review looking at the prevalence of abuse among the elderly has shown that in general population studies 6% have reported significant abuse in the past month; however, rates of reporting are only 1% [Cooper, et al. (2008, Age Ageing, 37, 151–60)].
Change strategies: A tutorial was delivered to doctors of different grades, from different specialities, on how to recognise and report suspected abuse of older adults. Twenty doctors completed a questionnaire assessing their knowledge and confidence in managing suspected abuse in the older adult. This was completed before and after the tutorial.
Change effects: Of the total, 90.48% of doctors questioned had never been educated about protection of older adults; 100% thought the presentation was useful. On a scale of 1–5, when asked about how confident they were in recognising abuse (one being the least and five being the most confident), the average score increased from 2.55 to 3.50, after the tutorial. The average scores for confidence with reporting procedures for suspected abuse increased from 1.35 to 3.60. The average score out of 6, when assessing knowledge about recognising abuse, increased from 2.60 to 5.14. The average score, out of 2, when assessing knowledge about reporting abuse, increased from 0.29 to 1.33.
Conclusions: This audit shows that the doctors questioned had improved knowledge and confidence in managing suspected abuse in the older adult following the tutorial. Educating all doctors on this could help narrow the discrepancy between prevalence of abuse and rates of reporting, and tutorials be used as part of prevention strategies.