The prevalence of lifetime abuse among older adults in seven European countries

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To investigate the lifetime prevalence rate of abuse among older persons and to scrutinize the associated factors (e.g. demographics). Methods: This cross-sectional population-based study had 4467 participants, aged 60–84, from seven European cities. Abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial and injuries) was measured based on The Revised Conflict Tactics Scale, and the UK survey of abuse/neglect of older people. Results: Over 34 % of participants reported experiencing lifetime psychological, 11.5 % physical, 18.5 % financial and 5 % sexual abuse and 4.3 % reported injuries. Lifetime psychological abuse was associated with country, younger age, education and alcohol consumption; physical abuse with country, age, not living in partnership; injuries with country, female sex, age, education, not living in partnership; financial abuse with country, age, not living in partnership, education, benefiting social/partner income, drinking alcohol; and sexual abuse with country, female sex and financial strain. Conclusions: High lifetime prevalence rates confirm that elder abuse is a considerable public health problem warranting further longitudinal studies. Country of residence is an independent factor associated with all types of elder abuse which highlights the importance of national interventions alongside international collaborations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Public Health
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Apr 15 2016


  • Determinant
  • Elder abuse
  • Financial
  • Injuries
  • Psychological
  • Sexual

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health(social science)


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