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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787


ESPINDOLA, Cybele Ribeiro  and  BLAY, Sérgio Luís. Prevalence of elder abuse: a systematic review. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2007, vol.41, n.2, pp.301-306. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: To identify prevalence studies of abuse among elderly and assess their quality. METHODS: A systematic literature review was performed through PubMed, LILACS, Embase, ISI, and PsycInfo, for the period between 1988 and 2005. Population-based studies were included and studies without clear methodological definition and with clinical and service samples were excluded. RESULTS: There were found 440 articles, but only 11 of them were selected. Most were cross-sectional designs and only two were longitudinal studies. These studies were conducted in various countries worldwide, mostly in US and Europe. They varied widely in terms of abuse definition. Prevalence of physical abuse ranged from 1.2% (Holland) to 18% (Finland). CONCLUSIONS: There is a considerable prevalence variation between sites. The most influential variables on prevalence seem to be culture-related. As the number of elderly is increasing worldwide, there is a need for studies to better understand this phenomenon.

Keywords : Elder abuse; Domestic violence; Epidemiologic studies; Review literature.

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