A Comparison of Three Measures of Elder Abuse

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PURPOSE: To present a comparison of three measures for assessing elder abuse.

DESIGN AND METHODS: Three measures for assessing elder abuse were identified through a literature review. The characteristics and uses of each measure were reviewed and evaluated.

FINDINGS: The Indicators of Abuse (IOA) is a 22-item tool for discriminating abuse and nonabuse cases; it is completed by a health care professional after a home assessment is conducted. The Elder Abuse and Neglect Assessment (EAI) is a 44-item scale comprised of seven sections to review signs, symptoms, and subjective complaints of elder abuse, neglect, exploitation, and abandonment; it can be used by health care providers in all clinical settings. The Elder Abuse Screening Test (EAST) is a 15-item tool to be completed by a health care provider based on the patient's responses. This screening tool is limited because of the small unrepresentative samples used to test it, the low internal consistency, and a relatively high false-negative rate.

CONCLUSIONS: An instrument to accurately assess elder abuse in long-term care is needed. Proper identification of elder abuse is the first step in assisting victims in dealing with abusive situations.