Journal article

Abuse and neglect of older persons in 7 cities in seven countries in Europe : a cross sectional community study

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Publication Details

Subtitle: a cross sectional community study

Author list: Macassa, Gloria;Soares, Joaquim J. F.

Publication year: 2013

Start page: 121

End page: 132

Number of pages: 12

ISSN: 1661-8556

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00038-012-0388-3

View additional information: View in Web of Science


Abstract

Objectives

We aimed to investigate the prevalence rate of abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial, neglect) of older persons (AO) in seven cities from seven countries in Europe (Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Spain, Sweden), and to assess factors potentially associated with AO.

Methods

A cross-sectional study was conducted in 2009 (n = 4,467, aged 60–84). Potentially associated factors were grouped into domains (domain 1: age, gender, migration history; domain 2: education, occupation; domain 3: marital status, living situation; domain 4: habitation, income, financial strain). We calculated odds ratios (OR) with their respective 95 % confidence intervals (CI).

Results

Psychological AO was the most common form of AO, ranging from 10.4 % (95 % CI 8.1–13.0) in Italy to 29.7 % (95 % CI 26.2–33.5) in Sweden. Second most common form was financial AO, ranging from 1.8 % (95 % CI 0.9–3.2) in Sweden to 7.8 % (95 % CI 5.8–10.1) in Portugal. Less common was physical AO, ranging from 1.0 % (95 % CI 0.4–2.1) in Italy to 4.0 % (95 % CI 2.6–5.8 %) in Sweden. Sexual AO was least common, ranging from 0.3 (95 % CI 0.0–1.1) in Italy and Spain to 1.5 % (95 % CI 0.7–2.8) in Greece. Being from Germany (AOR 3.25, 95 % CI 2.34–4.51), Sweden (OR 3.16, 95 % CI 2.28–4.39) or Lithuania (AOR 2.45, 95 % CI 1.75–3.43) was associated with increased prevalence rates of AO.

Conclusion

Country of residence of older people is independent from the four assessed domains associated with AO. Life course perspectives on AO are highly needed to get better insight, and to develop and implement prevention strategies targeted at decreasing prevalence rates of AO.


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