This research aims to perform a systematic review of studies measuring the prevalence of elder abuse or neglect, either reported by old aged people themselves, or family and professional caregivers or investigated using objective measures.
Research conducted as a comprehensive literature search of multiple databases up to October 2006, supplemented by a search of the references of all relevant articles. Validity of studies was graded by two authors independently using a standardized checklist.
As a result, one in four vulnerable elders are at risk of abuse and only a small proportion of this is currently detected. Elders and family and professional caregivers are willing to report abuse and should be asked about it routinely. Valid, reliable measures and consensus on what constitutes an adequate standard for validity of abuse measures are needed.