|کد مقاله||کد نشریه||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||نسخه تمام متن|
|101687||161288||2015||7 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||دانلود رایگان|
• Alleged cases of elder physical abuse in an institutional setting were analysed.
• The sample seems an underestimation of the reality, probably due to underreport.
• 47% of the victims could not communicate, also explaining the low disclosing rates.
• Only 6.8% of the forensic medical evaluations were suggestive of physical abuse.
• There was an association between neglect and the victim's degree of disability.
IntroductionPeople over 65 years old are expected to be an increasing group exposed to abuse. Despite the well-studied intra-familial abuse, institutional abuse still lacks a proper understanding about its determinants and characteristics.AimThe general objective of this study is to provide a better knowledge about physical abuse against elderly people in institutional settings, in order to contribute to a timely detection, correct forensic diagnosis and prevention of these cases.MethodsA retrospective study was conducted through the analysis of forensic medical exams performed in the North Forensic Medical Services of Portugal, between 2004 and 2013, to elderly persons allegedly victims of physical abuse in an institutional setting by a caregiver (n = 59).ResultsAll the alleged cases occurred in nursing homes and in most of them (93.2%) the charges were against the institution and not focussing on a particular individual. The alleged victims were mainly female (79.7%), 75 years or older (75.9%), presenting a severe disability (55.9%) and 47.2% being unable to communicate. No injuries or post-traumatic pain were found in 55.9% of the cases to support the charge of physical abuse. Only in 6.8% of the cases were the forensic medical findings suggestive of physical abuse and, although this was not the object of the examination, 69.1% were considered suggestive or highly suggestive of neglect. A statistically significant association was found between the alleged victim's degree of disability and the occurrence of neglect (p = 0.003).ConclusionThe sample's size seems to be underestimated, probably due to lack of detection and/or reporting. The condition of these persons, mainly related with their inability to perceive abusive behaviours and/or to disclose them (mostly by physical and/or mental disability), as well as their reluctance to press charges due to fear of reprisal, affects significantly the detection and diagnosis of physical abuse, particularly in whom injuries are not obvious. In anticipation to the rapid ageing of the population, it is urgent to analyse and understand this emerging issue so that social policies and regulation may be developed, in an effort to protect the elderly, as well as to make improvements in the professionals' skills.
Journal: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine - Volume 36, November 2015, Pages 54–60