The prevalence, severity and chronicity of abuse towards older men: Insights from a multinational European survey
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Melchiorre MG, Di Rosa M, Macassa G, Eslami B, Torres-Gonzales F, Stankunas M, et al. (2021) The prevalence, severity and chronicity of abuse towards older men: Insights from a multinational European survey. PLoS ONE 16(4): e0250039. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal. pone.0250039
SponsorshipABUEL Project, "Elder Abuse: A multinational prevalence survey"; European Commission; Executive Agency for Health and Consumers (EAHC, currently CHAFEA, Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency; Public Health Programme 2008–2010 (Grant Agreement n. 2007123)
Background Elder abuse is a growing public health question among policy makers and practitioners in many countries. Research findings usually indicate women as victims, whereas male elder abuse still remains under-detected and under-reported. We aimed to investigate the preva lence, severity and chronicity of abuse (psychological, physical, physical injury, sexual, and financial) against older men, and to scrutinize factors (e.g. demographics) associated with high chronicity of any abuse. Methods Randomly selected older men (n = 1908) aged 60–84 years from seven European cities (Ancona, Athens, Granada, Kaunas, Stuttgart, Porto, Stockholm) were interviewed in 2009 via a cross-sectional study concerning abuse exposure during the past 12 months. Results Findings suggested that prevalence of abuse towards older men varied between 0.3% (sex ual) and 20.3% (psychological), with severe acts between 0.2% (sexual) and 8.2% (psycho logical). On the whole, higher chronicity values were for injury, followed by psychological, financial, physical, and sexual abuse. Being from Sweden, experiencing anxiety and having a spouse/cohabitant/woman as perpetrator were associated with a greater “risk” for high chronicity of any abuse. For men, severity and chronicity of abuse were in some cases rela tively high. Conclusions Abuse towards older men, in the light of severe and repeated acts occurring, should be a source of concern for family, caring staff, social work practice and policy makers, in order to develop together adequate prevention and treatment strategies.