Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $307,436)
Advances in both assessment methodology and computer technology may offer promising solutions to some of the barriers related to the responsive assessment and delivery of services to victims of elder abuse. Standardized measures and short screening forms for both staff observation and consumer self-report can improve the convenience, efficiency and quality of assessments. This project will address the issue of more responsive assessment by developing end-user criteria and a prototype for an elder abuse assessment system. It would do so in a three-phase project. In Phase 1, the project team will determine infrastructure requirements and 'end-user criteria' that will remove barriers and provide support for use of a computerized decision support system. This will be accomplished by conducting an environmental and infrastructure scan involving at least 3 key informants and 5 national experts followed by focus groups and interviews with up to 50 practitioners and local experts. Phase 2 will develop a new, prototype system based on the results of Phase 1. This prototype will involve the use of computerized adaptive testing methods and other appropriate measurement formats for the five types of elder abuse, i.e., physical, sexual, psychological, financial and neglect. Along with the prototype, a demonstration of the proposed system will be used to obtain input on its usefulness and other end-user criteria. Phase 3 will include the test demonstration of the prototype to elicit feedback regarding its usefulness, quality, and affordability via a second round of focus groups and interviews with a group of 8 Illinois experts, a group of 8 national experts, and 3 groups of up to 30 elder abuse staff members, and cognitive interviews with 3 older adults who have experienced elder abuse. Based on the feedback and input from the demonstration of the prototype system, a future proposal for a full scale field test will be developed.
This project will result in usable products'measures of the five key types of elder mistreatment that can be administered via a prototype computerized decision support system. Ultimately, the development of a user-friendly elder abuse computerized decision support system has the potential to improve screening, detection and substantiation while informing decisions about treatment and adjudication.