Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Elderly victims of abuse often use alcohol or drugs, study says

Date:
March 22, 2011
Source:
University of Illinois at Chicago
Summary:
Victims of severe traumatic elder abuse are more likely to be female, suffer from a neurological or mental disorder, and to abuse drugs or alcohol, according to new research.

Victims of severe traumatic elder abuse are more likely to be female, suffer from a neurological or mental disorder, and to abuse drugs or alcohol, according to research published in the March issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

"Past studies have shown that alcohol abuse by the perpetrator plays a substantial role and is strongly associated with physical abuse," says Lee Friedman, assistant professor of environmental and occupational health sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago and lead author of the study. "Our findings indicate that alcohol abuse among the victims may be an important contributing factor as well."

Twenty-nine percent of abuse victims in the study tested positive for alcohol, compared to 13 percent of controls.

Local researchers examined medical record data at two Chicago-area Level I trauma units from 41 cases of elder abuse and compared them to a random set of other over-60 patients between 1999 and 2006.

The researchers found that elderly victims of physical abuse suffered more severe injuries than their non-abused counterparts. They also suffered disproportionately from pre-existing medical conditions such as heart disease, dementia and Alzheimer's disease, mental illness and alcohol abuse.

All the key measures of injury severity -- length of hospital stay, treatment in an intensive care unit, assisted breathing, injury severity scores, in-hospital case fatality rates -- were higher in the abuse cases, according to the researchers, and are associated with long-term adverse outcomes.

In the study, 20 victims of abuse returned to the environment in which the abuse occurred. In the majority of cases, the perpetrator had been arrested, but 17 percent of the victims expressed a desire to return to the perpetrator and not to press charges.

Eighty-five percent of the perpetrators were family members or intimate partners. In most cases, the abuse was not identified until after the admission process or several days into hospitalization.

The failure of medical staff to properly identify abuse victims and contact adult protective services in the majority of cases shows that clinicians need to better understand elder abuse, Friedman said.

The research was funded by a grant from the Retirement Research Foundation. Co-authors are Susan Avila and Dr. Kimberly Joseph of the John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County and Kathy Tanouye of Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill. Friedman's work on the project predated his joining the full-time faculty at UIC.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois at Chicago. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lee S. Friedman, Susan Avila, Kathy Tanouye, Kimberly Joseph. A Case-Control Study of Severe Physical Abuse of Older Adults. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 2011; 59 (3): 417 DOI: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2010.03313.x

Cite This Page:

University of Illinois at Chicago. "Elderly victims of abuse often use alcohol or drugs, study says." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110322151418.htm>.
University of Illinois at Chicago. (2011, March 22). Elderly victims of abuse often use alcohol or drugs, study says. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110322151418.htm
University of Illinois at Chicago. "Elderly victims of abuse often use alcohol or drugs, study says." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110322151418.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) Yale researchers tested 135 men and women, and it was only obese women who were deemed to have "impaired associative learning." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins