Elderly abuse: risk factors and nursing role

Graziamaria Corbi, Ignazio Grattagliano, Evgeniya Ivshina, Nicola Ferrara, Angela Solimeno Cipriano, Carlo Pietro Campobasso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Elderly abuse is still a hidden problem, often underestimated. It is much more common than the data available suggest. Unfortunately, the incidence is expected to grow with the progressive increase in the elderly population in the future. The aim was to examine the available literature in the last 5 years to define the state of art on this phenomenon, with particular regard to the nursing role in elderly abuse, focusing on the possible types of mistreatment, the motivations and preventive interventions. Articles published in the last 5 years regarding the mistreatment of the elderly were selected, by using scientifically recognized databases such as PubMed, Cochrane Library, Medline, Scopus, and Web of Knowledge. Several keywords were used for the query among which were: “elderly abuse” and “elderly abuse in nursing home”. Moreover, to better understand the entity of the phenomenon, we also searched the corresponding keywords for child abuse. Considering the Scopus database, only 78 out of 1,342 published articles in the last 5 years deal with abuse of the elderly in relation to nursing, representing a very small part (5.81 %) of the considered sample. Comparing the number of articles, the ratio child/elderly is equal to 1/0.04, underlying the poor interest of research on this phenomenon. Moreover, it was observed that elderly abuse in nursing homes is still underreported in both original articles and reviews. Despite the aging of the population, elderly abuse and neglect still remain hidden problems, overlooked and also underestimated in the literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-303
Number of pages7
JournalInternal and Emergency Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2015


  • Child abuse
  • Elder abuse
  • Nurse
  • Videosurveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Internal Medicine


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