Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2011, $731,748)
The Elder Abuse Decision Support System (EADSS) is a computerized decision support system developed in two previous NIJ-funded grants. The EADSS supports computer-assisted assessment of mistreatment allegations, standardizes substantiation decision-making, provides user-friendly scoring and reporting, and links care planning to case specifics. The resulting reports and databases can be used to monitor cases and track outcomes more effectively, and to compute agency and system-wide statistics useful in evaluation, planning and research.
With Illinois serving as a test state, this study will: 1) determine the efficacy of the EADSS for improving individual assessment, reporting, intervention and end-user utility as compared to standard protocols, and 2) estimate the psychometric properties of EADSS measures of abuse, neglect and exploitation. Six elder abuse services providers in Illinois will be selected to field test EADSS, in a rolling administration of the new system. Standard assessment procedures of the agencies prior to EADSS implementation will be assessed as a comparison. The study will use a within-group pretest-posttest repeated measures quasi-experimental design with replications across agencies. The 3 month pretests from each agency will assess the current Illinois abuse, neglect and exploitation (ANE) system (anticipated 504 cases). The repeated posttest analyses will assess the new EADSS (anticipated 2268 cases). The analyses will compare current ANE outcomes to outcomes using the EADSS over time using random effects regression analysis.
Key client outcomes include substantiation rates and collateral reporting; caseworker outcomes include acceptability of the assessment system; time spent per case; and supervisor evaluated quality of treatment planning. Abuser outcomes include counts of referrals to law enforcement, arrests, indictments & prosecutions. System outcomes will be measured via interviews with Illinois Department on Aging and agency administrators.
This research-to-practice study is a translational efficacy trial to test EADSS while improving it under the "best available" conditions. Since the long-term goal is to implement the system on a state-wide basis, it will be important to achieve early successes that demonstrate the usefulness of the innovation. Following successful implementation, the system will be ready for effectiveness trials and potential national dissemination.