Volume 15, Issue 4 (Winter 2021)                   Salmand: Iranian Journal of Ageing 2021, 15(4): 458-471 | Back to browse issues page


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Seutodan Hagh H, Rezaeipandari H, Mousavi S, Allahverdipour H. Prevalence and Gender Differences of Elder Abuse among Community-dwelling Older Adults in Tabriz, Iran. Salmand: Iranian Journal of Ageing 2021; 15 (4) :458-471
URL: http://salmandj.uswr.ac.ir/article-1-2013-en.html
1- Department of Health Education & Promotion, Faculty of Health, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.
2- Department of Statistics and Epidemiology, Faculty of Health, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.
3- Department of Health Education & Promotion, Faculty of Health, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran. , allahverdipour@gmail.com
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1. Introduction
Elder abuse is a phenomenon that has become more apparent with the rapid increase in the number of elderly [1]. According to statistics provided by the World Health Organization, the prevalence of this phenomenon in developed countries varies from 1 to 10% [2]. Gender is an important factor in dealing with abuse. About 10% -15% of older women worldwide are exposed to physical abuse [3, 4]. Considering the different dimensions of elder abuse, it can be stated that many elderly people have been abused by their caregivers and those around them at least once [5]. However, there is insufficient evidence on the prevalence of elder abuse and its gender pattern among the elderly population in Iran. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the prevalence of elder abuse and related patterns based on gender differences in the elderly population in Iran.

2. Methods & Materials 
This descriptive-analytical study was conducted on 414 elderly people aged ≥60 years in Tabriz, Iran who were recruited from health complexes and centers. Inclusion criteria were age ≥60 years, resident of Tabriz city, living in their own home or at the home of a close relative, living with at least one family member, willingness to participate in study and answering questions, and no any cognitive or auditory impairment (full awareness of time, place and person). Two-stage cluster sampling method was used to select samples, where health complexes were as first cluster and health centers as secondary cluster. After random selection of first cluster, two centers from each cluster were randomly selected and in proportion to the population of the health complex, the samples from the health center were randomly selected. After coordination with the Health Organization of Tabriz city and obtaining the necessary permits, were referred to the study centers and the elderly were randomly selected using the SIB system (http://sib.sbmu.ac.ir). After explaining the research process on the phone, if the selected elderly had the conditions to enter the study, s/he was invited to participate in the study; if not, another elderly from the same center was replaced. Data collection tools was a demographic form, and the Domestic Elder Abuse Questionnaire which has 49 items and 8 subscales. They were completed through interview and the collected data were then analyzed in SPSS V. 22 software.

3. Results
A total of 414 elderly people (261 females and 153 males) aged 60-98 years (mean age= 67±7.09) participated in this study. The majority of participants were married (73%) and had their own houses (92%). 52.6% of participants reported abuse. The most common type of abuse was emotional neglect by family members; i.e. less visiting and calling them (26.8%) or ignoring and not talking to them (26.6%). Financial abuse (17.6%) was in the second place. Physical abuse was the least common abuse. The results showed that, except for the financial abuse, older women were more abused than older men (Table 1).



Participants complained that family members do not return the money they borrowed from them. In some cases, yelling at the elderly (15.5%) and blaming them for no reason (14.5%) by family members were reported as psychological abuse.
Another important result of this study was the level of understanding of elder abuse and how to deal with it. For this purpose, three new questions were added to the end of the Domestic Elder Abuse Questionnaire, and those who were abused even with a positive answer were asked to answer “yes” or “no” to these questions. Out of 218 elderly people who were abused, only 69 (31.7%) considered the mentioned abuses as elder abuse; 131 (60.1%) of the abused elderly informed others about their problems. A high percentage (91.7%) of the elderly were satisfied with their family members despite being abused.

4. Conclusion
Despite the importance of treating elders with respect, the elderly in Tabriz experience elder abuse in the family, which can be due to rapidly changing values, attitudes, behavioral patterns and moral standards in the family. They mostly experience financial abuse and neglect and perceived many instances of elder abuse to be normal behavior of family members. Furthermore, older women are more likely to be abused than males. It is necessary to take the necessary measures to inform families about the physical, psychological, emotional and social needs of the elderly, change negative attitudes towards the aging period, and attracting the attention of the country’s health care system to increase respect for the elderly.

Ethical Considerations
Compliance with ethical guidelines

This study was approved by Ethics Committee of Tabriz University of Medical Sciences (Code: IR.TBZMED.REC.1398.191). All ethical principles are considered in this article. The participants were informed about the purpose of the research and its implementation stages. They were also assured about the confidentiality of their information and were free to leave the study whenever they wished, and if desired, the research results would be available to them.

Funding
This study was extracted from the Msc. thesis of first author at Department of Health Education & Promotion, Faculty of Health, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz. Also, this study was supported by Saba Pension Strategies Institute.
 
Authors' contributions
Conceptualization: Habibeh Seutodan Hagh, Hassan Rezaeipandari, Hamid Allahverdipour; Methodology: Habibeh Seutodan Hagh, Hassan Rezaeipandari, Hamid Allahverdipour, Saeed Mousavi; Data analysis: Hassan Rezaeipandari, Hamid Allahverdipour, Saeed Mousavi; Writing of original draft and editing: Habibeh Seutodan Hagh, Hassan Rezaeipandari, Hamid Allahverdipour; Final approval: All authors.
Conflicts of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Acknowledgements
The authors would like to thank Saba Pension Strategic Institute (SABA) for financial support. The authors also appreciate the assistance of the Health Center of Tabriz City.

References
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Type of Study: Research | Subject: gerontology
Received: 2020/04/11 | Accepted: 2020/08/25 | Published: 2021/01/01

References
1. Quinn MJ, Tomita SK. Elder abuse and neglect: Causes, diagnosis, and interventional strategies. Springer Publishing Company; 1997. P 220.
2. WHO. Elder abuse. Available from: https://www.who.int/ageing/projects/elder_abuse/en/ Accessed at 21 Dec 2019.
3. Montminy L. Older women's experiences of psychological violence in their marital relationships. Journal of Gerontological Social Work. 2005;46(2):3-22. [DOI:10.1300/J083v46n02_02] [PMID]
4. Morgan E, Johnson I, Sigler R. Public definitions and endorsement of the criminalization of elder abuse. Journal of Criminal Justice. 2006;34(3):275-83. [DOI:10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2006.03.004]
5. Heravi KM, Anousheh M, Foroughan M, Sheykhi MT, Hajizadeh E, Seyed BM, Mohammadi I, Ahmadi FE. Elder abuse from the perspectives of elderly people: a phenomenological study. Faculty of Nursing of Midwifery Quarterly. 2008;18(61):28 - 39.
6. Comijs HC, Penninx BW, Knipscheer KP, van Tilburg W. Psychological distress in victims of elder mistreatment: The effects of social support and coping. The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences. 1999;54(4):P240-5. [DOI:10.1093/geronb/54B.4.P240] [PMID]
7. Dong X, Simon M, De Leon CM, Fulmer T, Beck T, Hebert L, Dyer C, Paveza G, Evans D. Elder self-neglect and abuse and mortality risk in a community-dwelling population. The Journal of the American Medical Association. 2009;302(5):517-26. [DOI:10.1001/jama.2009.1109] [PMID] [PMCID]
8. Dong X, Chen R, Chang ES, Simon M. Elder abuse and psychological well-being: A systematic review and implications for research and policy-A mini review. Gerontology. 2013;59(2):132-42. [DOI:10.1159/000341652] [PMID]
9. Cooper C, Selwood A, Livingston G. The prevalence of elder abuse and neglect: a systematic review. Age and Ageing. 2008;37(2):151-60. [DOI:10.1093/ageing/afm194] [PMID]
10. Dong XQ. Elder abuse: systematic review and implications for practice. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2015;63(6):1214-38. [DOI:10.1111/jgs.13454] [PMID]
11. Hamberger LK, Saunders DG, Hovey M. Prevalence of domestic violence in community practice and rate of physician inquiry. Family Medicine. 1992;24(4):283-7.
12. Watts C, Zimmerman C. Violence against women: global scope and magnitude. The Lancet. 2002;359(9313):1232-7. [DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(02)08221-1]
13. Ghodoosi A, Fallah Yakhdani E, Abedi HA. Studying the instances of elder abuse and their relationship with age and sex in the hospitalized elderly. Iranian Journal of Forensic Medicine. 2014;20(1):367-76.
14. Ho CS, Wong SY, Chiu MM, Ho R. Global prevalence of elder abuse: A metaanalysis and meta-regression. East Asian Archives of Psychiatry. 2017;27(2):43.
15. Yon Y, Mikton CR, Gassoumis ZD, Wilber KH. Elder abuse prevalence in community settings: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Lancet Global Health. 2017;5(2):e147-56. [DOI:10.1016/S2214-109X(17)30006-2]
16. Denton M, Prus S, Walters V. Gender differences in health: a Canadian study of the psychosocial, structural and behavioural determinants of health. Social Science & Medicine. 2004;58(12):2585-600. [DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2003.09.008] [PMID]
17. Esmat Saatlou M, Hossaini F, Sakeni Z. Assessment of elder abuse in adult day care centers. Journal of Geriatric Nursing. 2015;2(1):91-103.
18. Molaei M, Etemad K, Taheri Tanjani P. Prevalence of elder abuse in Iran: A systematic review and meta analysis. Iranian Journal of Ageing. 2017;12(2):242-53. [DOI:10.21859/sija-1202242]
19. Morowatisharifabad MA, Rezaeipandari H, Dehghani A, Zeinali A. Domestic elder abuse in Yazd, Iran: a cross-sectional study. Health Promotion Perspectives. 2016;6(2):104. [DOI:10.15171/hpp.2016.18] [PMID] [PMCID]
20. RN Np. Types of Elder Abuse in our Society. Caregiver Services. 2013.
21. DeLiema M, Gassoumis ZD, Homeier DC, Wilber KH. Determining prevalence and correlates of elder abuse using promotores: Low‐income immigrant Latinos report high rates of abuse and neglect. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2012;60(7):1333-9. [DOI:10.1111/j.1532-5415.2012.04025.x] [PMID] [PMCID]
22. Dong X, Simon MA. Urban and rural variations in the characteristics associated with elder mistreatment in a community-dwelling Chinese population. Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect. 2013;25(2):97-125. [DOI:10.1080/08946566.2013.751811] [PMID] [PMCID]
23. Perel-Levin S, World Health Organization. Discussing screening for elder abuse at primary health care level by Silvia Perel-Levin. 2008.
24. Heravi-Karimooi M, Anoosheh M, Foroughan M, Sheykhi MT, Hajizadeh E. Designing and determining psychometric properties of the Domestic Elder Abuse Questionnaire. Iranian Journal of Ageing. 2010;5(1).
25. Ribot VC, Rousseaux E, García TC, Arteaga E, Ramos ME, Alfonso M. Psychological the most common elder abuse in a Havana neighborhood. International Journal of Cuban Health and Medicine MEDICC review. 2015;17:39-43. [DOI:10.37757/MR2015.V17.N2.9]
26. Mohebbi L, Zahednejad S, Javadipour S, Saki A. Iranian Journal of Aging. 2016;10(4):50-59.
27. Karimi M, Elahi N. Elderly abuse in Ahwaz city and its relationship with individual and social characteristics. Iranian Journal of Ageing. 2008;3(1):42-7.
28. Nori A, Rajabi A, Esmailzadeh F. Prevalence of elder misbehavior in northern Iran (2012). Journal of Gorgan University of Medical Sciences. 2014;16(4).
29. Ruelas-González MG, Duarte-Gómez MB, Flores-Hernández S, Ortega-Altamirano DV, Cortés-Gil JD, Taboada A, Ruano AL. Prevalence and factors associated with violence and abuse of older adults in Mexico's 2012 National Health and Nutrition Survey. International Journal for Equity in Health. 2016;15(1):35. [DOI:10.1186/s12939-016-0315-y] [PMID] [PMCID]
30. Gil AP, Kislaya I, Santos AJ, Nunes B, Nicolau R, Fernandes AA. Elder abuse in Portugal: findings from the first national prevalence study. Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect. 2015;27(3):174-95. [DOI:10.1080/08946566.2014.953659] [PMID]
31. Rezaeipandari H, Morowatisharifabad MA, Bahrevar V, Rahaei Z, Hakimzadeh A. Relationship between Abuse Experience and General Health among Older Adults in Yazd City-Iran. Elderly Health Journal. 2016;2(1):21-6.
32. Yunus RM, Wazid SW, Hairi NN, Choo WY, Hairi FM, Sooryanarayana R, Ahmad SN, Razak IA, Peramalah D, Aziz SA, Mohamad ZL. Association between elder abuse and poor sleep: A cross-sectional study among rural older Malaysians. PLoS One. 2017;12(7):e0180222. [DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0180222] [PMID] [PMCID]
33. Pillemer K, Burnes D, Riffin C, Lachs MS. Elder abuse: global situation, risk factors, and prevention strategies. The Gerontologist. 2016;56(Suppl_2):S194-205. [DOI:10.1093/geront/gnw004] [PMID] [PMCID]
34. Dong X, Simon MA, Gorbien M. Elder abuse and neglect in an urban Chinese population. Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect. 2007;19(3-4):79-96. [DOI:10.1300/J084v19n03_05] [PMID]
35. Evans CS, Hunold KM, Rosen T, Platts‐Mills TF. Diagnosis of elder abuse in US emergency departments. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2017;65(1):91-7. [DOI:10.1111/jgs.14480] [PMID] [PMCID]
36. Cumming E, Dean LR, Newell DS, McCaffrey I. Disengagement-a tentative theory of aging. Sociometry. 1960 ;23(1):23-35. [DOI:10.2307/2786135]
37. Keyghobadi F, Moghaddam Hosseini V, Keyghobadi F, Rakhshani MH. Prevalence of elder abuse against women and associated factors. Journal of Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences. 2014;24(117):125-32.
38. Santos CM, Marchi RJ, Martins AB, Hugo FN, Padilha DM, Hilgert JB. The prevalence of elder abuse in the Porto Alegre metropolitan area. Brazilian Oral Research. 2013;27(3):197-202. [DOI:10.1590/S1806-83242013005000011] [PMID]

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