Abuse of Older Persons With Cognitive and Physical Impairments: Comparing Percentages Across Informants and Operational Definitions

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This study compared percentages of elder abuse reported by older adults and their family caregivers, using reports from attending medical professionals to triangulate the reports. Percentages were also compared using different criteria proposed in the literature. In total, 1,002 older Chinese aged 55 years or above and their primary family caregivers were recruited from three leading public hospitals in Guangdong, People’s Republic of China. Caregivers and care recipients were separately interviewed and provided information on their demographic characteristics and past year percentages of abuse. A clinical team including a chief physician, two attending physicians, three resident physicians, and two senior nurses provided observer measures through reviewing the medical records and their daily observations. Regardless of the informants and operational definitions used, caregiver neglect was the most commonly reported (35.4% to 65.0%), followed by psychological abuse (11.1% to 51.1%), financial exploitation (17.9% to 40.8%), and physical abuse (0.8% to 2.2%). This study found huge variations in percentages of elder abuse by different informants and operational definitions. Depending on the types of abuse concerned, different informants should be consulted to yield more reliable estimates.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • disclosure of domestic violence
  • domestic violence
  • elder abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

Cite this