Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Health Services and Policy Management

First Advisor

Janice C Probst


As the number of individuals age 60 years of age and older continues to rise in the United States, the care and safety of this population will be a growing issue. There are many contributing factors and reasons why elder abuse occurs. Elder abuse is an emerging issue; however there is limited research and understanding in the area. There are barriers to the detection and prevention of the issue. Emergency department staff is essential to the identification and detection of possible abuse, and it is important that these providers understand the risk factors and physical manifestations of abuse and neglect cases. Potential abuse codes were developed based on the injuries and diagnoses of confirmed cases of abuse and of patients that were brought to the attention of Adult Protective Services for possible abuse. Analysis revealed that there are no significant differences in the characteristics of elder ED patients with an APS flagged abuse case when compared to other elders without a flagged visit of abuse. The study also found that hospital shopping was present, and should be explored in future studies.


© 2013, Brittani L. Harmon

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