Lifetime Abuse and Quality of Life among Older People

Silvia Fraga, Joaquim Soares, Maria Gabriella Melchiorre, Henrique Barros, Bahareh Eslami, Elisabeth Ioannidi-Kapolou, Jutta Lindert, Gloria Macassa, Mindaugas Stankunas, Francisco Torres-Gonzales, Eija Viitasara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Few studies have evaluated the impact of lifetime abuse on quality of life (QoL) among older adults. By using a multinational study authors aimed to assess the subjective perception of QoL among people who have reported abuse during the course of their lifetime. The respondents (N = 4,467; 2,559 women) were between the ages of 60 and 84 years and living in seven European countries (Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden). Lifetime abuse was assessed by using a structured questionnaire that allowed to assess lifetime experiences of abuse. QoL was assessed with the World Health Organization Quality of Life-Old module. After adjustment for potential confounders, authors found that to have had any abusive experience decreased the score of sensory abilities. Psychological abuse was associated with lower autonomy and past, present, and future activities. Physical abuse with injuries significantly decreased social participation. Intimacy was also negatively associated with psychological abuse, physical abuse with injury, and sexual abuse. The results of this study provide evidence that older people exposed to abuse during their lifetime have a significant reduction in QoL, with several QoL domains being negatively affected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-222
Number of pages8
JournalHealth and Social Work
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2017


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