Elder abuse and neglect

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In the past 10 years, reports of the abuse of older adults have risen by 30%. Supported by a growing body of work, research, practitioner and policy communities are poised to confront the problem. This article represents a review of the elder abuse and neglect literature published since 2001. Literature on elder abuse and neglect tends to be grouped in the following categories: definitional issues; screening and assessment instruments; the scope of elder abuse and neglect; sexual abuse; risk factors; outcomes; studies of Adult Protective Services; multidisciplinary teams; interventions by medical, criminal justice and policy communities; long-term care facilities; and theoretical perspectives. The authors suggest that studies of elder abuse and neglect move beyond descriptive studies and include more nuanced statistical methods and mixed methods approaches, further explore the promising research design of crosslinking a variety of databases, include a theoretical underpinning and work toward more theorizing, explore incidence and prevalence approaches to eventually capture elder abuse and neglect on a national level, and focus on outcomes of interventions (e.g., education, agency/entity).

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