Bringing Advances in Elder Abuse Research Methodology and Theory to Evaluation of Interventions

Lachs, M., Mosqueda, L., Rosen, T., & Pillemer, K. (2021). Bringing Advances in Elder Abuse Research Methodology and Theory to Evaluation of Interventions. Journal Of Applied Gerontology, 073346482199218. doi: 10.1177/0733464821992182


The elder abuse field needs high-quality intervention research to assess the best strategies to combat the problem, but few such studies exist. Significant advances have been made in elder abuse research methodology, measurement, justice theory, and other relevant areas, which may remedy this gap. Particular advances include the use of elder abuse severity measures and goal attainment scaling, and the application of restorative justice theory to intervention. Elder abuse research also may benefit from advances in biomedical clinical trial methodology, including characterizing and following up with subjects excluded from trials or those who drop out, estimating numbers needed to treat to assess cost-effectiveness, and a priori stopping rules for when an intervention proves quickly beneficial or harmful. In this article, we argue these advances can and should inform elder abuse intervention research, propose a theoretical framework to guide such efforts, and demonstrate how this framework can inform practice, using elder abuse multidisciplinary teams and nursing home shelters as examples.

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Special Thanks to Judith D. Tamkin

We are sincerely appreciative to Judith D. Tamkin for her gift to help establish the USC Center on Elder Mistreatment’s website. Her deep and personal commitment to eradicating elder abuse is helping to reshape our understanding of elder abuse and ultimately save innumerable older adults from abuse and neglect.