Development of a screening tool for identifying elderly people at risk of abuse by their caregivers

Miri Cohen, Sarah Halevi-Levin, Roni Gagin, Gideon Friedman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This study developed and assessed an instrument to identify older people at high risk of abuse based on Reis and Nahmiash's Indicators of Abuse (IOA) screen. Method: A total of 108 people 65 and older, hospitalized in internal medicine departments at two major hospitals in Israel, were screened together with their principal caregivers. The interview was based on the expanded IOA (E-IOA) and a list of evident signs of abuse. Results: Reliability and validity of the E-IOA were tested and confirmed. Indicators proved to be a significant predictor of evident signs of abuse. The E-IOA correctly discerned 92.7% of those at high risk for abuse and 97.9% of those who did not suffer abuse. The main indicators for risk were behavioral problems, emotional problems, and family problems of the caregiver and the elderly person. Fourteen (13%) experienced abuse. Discussion: The proposed assessment tool can be an instrumental guide to identify elderly people who suffer abuse (unidentified) or who are at high risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)660-685
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2006


  • Abuse
  • Caregivers
  • Elderly
  • High risk
  • Hospitalization
  • Indicators

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science


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