Emergency department protocol for the diagnosis and evaluation of geriatric abuse.

Title

Emergency department protocol for the diagnosis and evaluation of geriatric abuse.

Creator

Jones J; Dougherty J; Schelble D; Cunningham W

Publisher

Annals of emergency medicine

Date

1988
1988-10

Description

As the number of elderly persons in the United States continues to increase, geriatric abuse has become the most recent manifestation of domestic violence seen in the emergency department. Recent data suggest that 1 million elderly persons are battered, neglected, or exploited each year by family members or caretakers. This maltreatment may be more difficult to identify than child or spouse abuse because of the relative isolation of the victims and their reluctance to report abuse. Many of these cases involve only subtle signs and have a great potential to pass undetected. We summarize the current literature on geriatric abuse and describe an ED protocol for identifying and reporting suspected victims. We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 36 elderly patients hospitalized with documented abuse or neglect. Physical maltreatment was evident in 29 patients (80%), and 16 of the cases (44%) involved psychological abuse. Key points in the history, physical examination, and psychosocial evaluation were analyzed to identify specific criteria used in the development of the protocol. This framework will aid the emergency physician in the crucial first steps of identifying abuse, obtaining evidence, and providing immediate treatment and crisis intervention. Awareness that the problem exists and improved detection and intervention procedures are needed to prevent abuse of elderly persons from becoming more widespread.

Subject

Female; Humans; Male; Ohio; Aged; Retrospective Studies; Family; Clinical Protocols; *Elder Abuse; Stress; *Emergency Service; Hospital; Psychological/diagnosis/epidemiology

Rights

Article information provided for research and reference use only. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Pages

1006–1015

Issue

10

Volume

17

Citation

Jones J; Dougherty J; Schelble D; Cunningham W, “Emergency department protocol for the diagnosis and evaluation of geriatric abuse.,” NEOMED Bibliography Database, accessed January 20, 2021, https://neomed.omeka.net/items/show/5469.

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