About this Research Topic
Maltreatment of older people (elder abuse) includes psychological, physical, sexual abuse, neglect and financial exploitation. Evidence suggests that 10-40% of older adults experience some form of abuse, and only a fraction of cases are actually reported or referred to medical, psychosocial or social services agencies. Elder abuse is a global public health and human rights problem which requires the attention of scientists, health care systems, social welfare agencies policymakers and politicians. Compared to other types of violence and related mental health issues, elder abuse is a more recent field of research in the area of Public Mental Health. Importantly, in light of the rapidly growing older population, relevant stakeholders (researchers, healthcare providers, social service providers, legal professionals, community organizations, and policymakers) must be prepared for an expected increasing number of elder abuse incidents and an enlarging scope of the problem. We aim to provide knowledge on 1) the global epidemiology of elder abuse in terms of its prevalence, risk factors, and mental health consequences and 2) on interventions to address the issue of elder maltreatment. Furthermore, we will describe methodological challenges when investigating elder abuse, specifically definition and measurement methods. This Research Topic will update knowledge on the need for representative studies, trials, and intervention programs. Moreover, the Research Topic aims to pay specific attention to the potentially most vulnerable groups among the elderly, for example, women, cognitively impaired individuals, or those exposed to war and economic downturns of the country.
Keywords: Elder abuse, neglect, mental health, mortality, health care
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