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Florida Elder Abuse Survey

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2008
173 pages
This report describes the development and testing of an interviewer-administered, self-report questionnaire for cognitively competent community-based elders that might be used in a national survey in establishing the prevalence of second-party abuse, neglect, or exploitation of elderly persons.
The testing of the questionnaire was accurate for a population estimate of abuse and neglect of the elderly, even with some miscategorizations; however, comparable methods for assessing the prevalence of elder abuse and neglect for both those in institutions and community-based housing, but are not capable of reliable self-reporting, must be developed in order to complement this instrument. Based on the results of focus groups of adult protective services and abuse hotline staff, questionnaire items were tested with clients of services for the elderly in Florida. Items included pertained to demographics, daily-living activities, and 19 possible types of elder abuse or neglect within the previous year. For each positive response, questions were asked about the perpetrators and their relationship to the elderly victims; a description of when the mistreatment occurred; how often; what the respondent did; and whether the mistreatment stemmed from the perpetrator’s anger, neglect, or carelessness. In order to test the instrument, case managers for services to the elderly screened and recruited 95 clients ages 65 and older; 26 clients had reported mistreatment in the hotline database, and 69 clients had given no reports of mistreatment. Groups were matched by gender and age within 10 years of one another. Interviews were conducted over an 18-month period. Following development of a scoring algorithm, 17 of the 19 screening items were used to identify possible cases of mistreatment. The final algorithm was defined as a positive response to any of the 17 specific abuse items. 9 tables, 47 references, and appendix

Date Published: December 1, 2008