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Progress in Elder Abuse Screening and Assessment Instruments

 The purpose of this article is to review existing elder mistreatment (EM) screening and assessment instruments to examine progress in this field. The value and limitations of these instruments with regard to their use in different clinical and healthcare settings are discussed. The settings in which EM screening and assessment are conducted are also considered. The authors conclude that there is much to be done in terms of achieving consensus on what constitutes an appropriate screen or assessment instrument for detecting EM. Effort must be focused on instruments that can be used for brief, rapid screenings and those that can be used for more-detailed diagnostic assessments.

 It can be inferred from results of the research, EM screening and assessment instruments help provide a structure and format for collecting data, which aids in the decision-making process that surrounds EM detection and reporting. When EM is correctly identified, healthcare providers and social services agencies can help people who are at risk for or are victims of mistreatment. A number of instruments available for practitioners and researchers as they address EM have been identified. It seems wise, at this time, for clinicians to develop a protocol for use in their practices drawing from the existing instruments in the literature. The authors recommend the CTS, the BASE, or the Elder Assessment Instrument because all are easy to use and can be administered quickly. Changes in the older person’s condition must be monitored over time to provide context for the assessment. Clinical agencies should develop.


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