Four Subtypes of Self-Neglect in Older Adults: Results of a Latent Class Analysis


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Abstract

OBJECTIVES:To determine whether there are subtypes of elder self-neglect (SN) with different risk factors that can be targeted using medical and social interventions.DESIGN:Cohort study using archived data of Adult Protective Services (APS) substantiated cases of elder SN between January 1, 2004, and December 31, 2008.SETTING:Houston, Harris County, Texas.PARTICIPANTS:Adults aged 65 and older with APS region VI substantiated SN between January 1, 2004, and December 31, 2008 (N = 5,686).MEASUREMENTS:Adult Protective Services caseworkers used the Client Assessment and Risk Evaluation (CARE) tool during home investigations, assessing risk of harm in the domains of living conditions, financial status, physical and medical status, mental health, and social connectedness. Latent class analysis was used to identify unique subtypes of elder SN.RESULTS:Four unique subtypes of elder SN were identified, with approximately 50% of individuals manifesting physical and medical neglect problems. Other subtypes included environmental neglect (22%), global neglect (21%), and financial neglect (9%). Older age, Caucasian descent, and mental status problems were more strongly associated with global neglect behaviors. African Americans were more likely to experience financial and environmental neglect than Caucasians and non-white Hispanics.CONCLUSION:Elder SN consists of unique subtypes that may be amenable to customized multidisciplinary interventions. Future studies are needed to determine whether these subtypes impose differential mortality risks and whether multidisciplinary tailored interventions can reduce SN and prevent early mortality.

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