Professional decision making on elder abuse: systematic narrative review

KILLICK Campbell, TAYLOR Brian J.
Journal article citation:
Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect, 21(3), July 2009, pp.211-238.
Taylor and Francis
Place of publication:
Philadelphia, USA

Nine bibliographic databases were searched for studies on professional decision making regarding abuse of older people. The findings of the 19 articles meeting the inclusion criteria were synthesised using a structured narrative approach. Common themes identified were abuse factors, situational factors, and broader contextual factors. Abuse factors relating to risk levels and client vulnerability were central; age, gender, and health status were considered as key indicators of vulnerability. The opinion of adult protection workers about the potential effectiveness of their intervention was a factor in deciding about responding to alleged or suspected abuse. Professionals struggled with complex ethical dilemmas created by elder abuse, particularly when the victim did not want an investigation. A structured approach to narrative synthesis of a diverse range of studies retrieved through an explicit search and inclusion process provided a useful summary of key issues for practice and identified gaps in the research literature.

Subject terms:
older people, professional role, social workers, safeguarding adults, carers, decision making, elder abuse;
Content type:
systematic review
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