Prevalence and associated factors of elder mistreatment: a cross sectional study from urban Nepal

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Abstract

Background

mistreatment of elderly people is internationally recognised as a serious public health issue. This study aimed at estimating the prevalence and risk factors associated with mistreatment in urban Nepal.

Methods

this was a descriptive cross-sectional study of 212 elderly people residing in Butwal sub-metropolitan city, an urban area in Nepal; the study was conducted between March and October 2015. Two-stage cluster design with simple random sampling was adopted for the study. Information was collected using an interviewer administered semi-structured questionnaire of older people. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify factors associated with elder mistreatment.

Results

this study found a prevalence of 49.1% for mistreatment of the elderly population. Prevalence rates of caregiver neglect, financial, psychological or physical mistreatment and other types (including sexual assault) were 47.2%, 11.8%, 10.8%, 1.42% and 3.3%, respectively. Being a dalit (untouchable backward class in the traditional Hindu caste system), unemployed, widowed, divorced or separated, problems concentrating and smoking were independent factors associated with mistreatment. Smoking was found to be consistently associated with the three most common mistreatment types.

Conclusions

mistreatment of older people is common in urban Nepal, with neglect, financial and psychological abuse most common. Along with standard risk factors, specific ethnic issues (membership of dalit community) are associated with increased risk.

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