Medico-legal assessment of personal damage in older people: report from a multidisciplinary consensus conference

Francesca Ingravallo, Ilaria Cerquetti, Luca Vignatelli, Sandra Albertini, Matteo Bolcato, Maria Camerlingo, Graziamaria Corbi, Domenico De Leo, Andrea De Nicolò, Francesco De Stefano, Alessandro Dell’Erba, Paola Di Giulio, Ranieri Domenici, Piergiorgio Fedeli, Alessandro Feola, Nicola Ferrara, Paola Forti, Francesca Frigiolini, Pasquale Gianniti, Enrico GiliPrimiano Iannone, Alessandro Lovato, Maria Lia Lunardelli, Alessandra Marengoni, Franco Marozzi, Massimo Martelloni, Patrizia Mecocci, Andrea Molinelli, Lorenzo Polo, Margherita Portas, Patrizio Rossi, Carlo Scorretti, Marco Trabucchi, Stefano Volpato, Riccardo Zoja, Gloria Luigia Castellani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ageing of the global population represents a challenge for national healthcare systems and healthcare professionals, including medico-legal experts, who assess personal damage in an increasing number of older people. Personal damage evaluation in older people is complex, and the scarcity of evidence is hindering the development of formal guidelines on the subject. The main objectives of the first multidisciplinary Consensus Conference on Medico-Legal Assessment of Personal Damage in Older People were to increase knowledge on the subject and establish standard procedures in this field. The conference, organized according to the guidelines issued by the Italian National Institute of Health (ISS), was held in Bologna (Italy) on June 8, 2019 with the support of national scientific societies, professional organizations, and stakeholders. The Scientific Technical Committee prepared 16 questions on 4 thematic areas: (1) differences in injury outcomes in older people compared to younger people and their relevance in personal damage assessment; (2) pre-existing status reconstruction and evaluation; (3) medico-legal examination procedures; (4) multidimensional assessment and scales. The Scientific Secretariat reviewed relevant literature and documents, rated their quality, and summarized evidence. During conference plenary public sessions, 4 pairs of experts reported on each thematic area. After the last session, a multidisciplinary Jury Panel (15 members) drafted the consensus statements. The present report describes Conference methods and results, including a summary of evidence supporting each statement, and areas requiring further investigation. The methodological recommendations issued during the Conference may be useful in several contexts of damage assessment, or to other medico-legal evaluation fields.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2319-2334
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Legal Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2020


  • Medico-legal assessment
  • Multidimensional assessment
  • Older adults
  • Personal damage
  • Personal injury
  • Pre-existing conditions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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