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Elder Abuse Assessment Tools and Interventions for use in the Home Environment: a Scoping Review

Authors Van Royen K, Van Royen P, De Donder L, Gobbens RJ

Received 8 May 2020

Accepted for publication 3 July 2020

Published 28 September 2020 Volume 2020:15 Pages 1793—1807


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Kathleen Van Royen,1,2 Paul Van Royen,1 Liesbeth De Donder,3 Robbert J Gobbens1,4,5

1Department of Primary and Interdisciplinary Care, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium; 2Department of Communication Studies, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium; 3Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Brussels, Belgium; 4Faculty of Health, Sports and Social Work, Inholland University of Applied Sciences, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; 5Zonnehuisgroep Amstelland, Amstelveen, the Netherlands

Correspondence: Kathleen Van Royen
Department of Primary and Interdisciplinary Care, University of Antwerp, Gouverneur Kinsbergencentrum, Doornstraat 331-2610, Doornstraat, Wilrijk, Belgium
Tel +32 32655099

Background and Aim: Caregivers in the home environment have an important role in timely detecting and responding to abuse. The aim of this review was to provide insight into both the existing tools for the assessment of and interventions for elder abuse by formal and informal caregivers in the home environment, and to categorize them according to a public health perspective, into primary, secondary, tertiary or quaternary prevention.
Methods: We selected the assessment tools and interventions that can be used by caregivers in the home environment included in previous reviews by Gallione et al (2017) and Fearing et al (2017). To identify published studies after these reviews, a search was performed using PubMed, Cochrane Database, CINAHL and Web of Science.
Results: In total, fifteen assessment tools and twelve interventions were included. The number of assessment tools for elder abuse for use in the home environment is increasing; however, tools must be validated over different cultures and risk groups. In addition, the tools lack attention for the needs of vulnerable older persons such as persons with dementia. Existing interventions for caregivers in the home environment lack evidence for addressing elder abuse and do not address potential adverse effects (quaternary prevention).
Conclusion: Assessment tools for elder abuse need further testing for validity and reliability for use by caregivers in the home environment. For interventions, meaningful outcome measures are needed. Important to note is that quaternary prevention requires more attention. This argues for taking into account perspectives of (abused) older persons and caregivers in the development of assessment tools and interventions protocols.

Keywords: caregivers, elder abuse management, prevention, assessment tools, interventions, review

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