Print version ISSN 0213-9111
MONTSERRAT, Coma et al. Primary care doctors' and nurses' opinion of elder abuse and neglect. Gac Sanit [online]. 2007, vol.21, n.3, pp. 235-241. ISSN 0213-9111. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0213-91112007000300010.
Objective: To identify primary care health professionals' opinion of elder abuse and its management. Qualitative study through focus groups. Participants: Twenty-seven health professionals in primary care. Analyses of the thematic content of data, codification, segmentation and creation of categories of the text corpus. Results: The most frequent types of abuse were psychological and financial. Neglect was associated with current lifestyles. Physical and sexual abuse was considered infrequent, but possibly under-detected. Important risk factors were dysfunctional families, stressed and under-trained caregivers, and elder hostility. The profile of the abuser was associated with mental disorders, drug addiction and prior family violence in physical and financial abuse, but no clear profile was identified in the categories of neglect and abandonment. Social and health resources were insufficient and limited intervention, thus making detection fruitless. Education, monitoring and counseling of health professionals in elder abuse was considered necessary because, given external and well coordinated support, primary care could intervene effectively in situations of elder abuse. Conclusions: Although the phenomenon of elder abuse is well known, consensus guidelines for its detection and intervention need to be defined. The lack of resources and the difficulties of delimiting responsibilities in the management of elder abuse should be taken into account when planning strategies. The health professionals considered themselves as a resource and did not avoid involvement.
Keywords : Elder abuse; Elderly person; Qualitative research.