Gironda MW, Nguyen AL, Mosqueda L.
To examine the relationship between individual characteristics and potential correlates of elder abuse in older adults who present with fractures.
Cross-sectional analysis of deidentified data extracted from medical records.
Academic medical center.
Individuals aged 65 and with a primary diagnosis of any fracture admitted to an outpatient department or emergency department (ED) in a single southern California medical center over a 36-month period (N = 652).
Participant characteristics included demographic characteristics, number of medical visits, and point of service. Corresponding International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) codes, E-codes, and V-codes were extracted to identify cause, location, and type of fracture. The presence of 13 potential correlates of abuse as captured by ICD-9 codes were extracted and summed. Descriptive statistics and regression models were used for analyses.
Mean age of participants was 77.2, 58% were female (58%), 60% were white (60%), and 46% had one or more potential correlates of abuse. In bivariate analyses, older age (≥80), dementia, seeking care in the ED (vs inpatient or outpatient clinics), only one visit to a medical facility (vs multiple visits) in the 36-month study period, cause of fracture as something other than a fall, and fractures of the head or face were more likely to have at least one correlate of abuse. In logistic regression, dementia (B = 0.794, standard error (SE) = 0.280); seeking care in the ED (vs outpatient or outpatient clinics) (B = 1.86, SE = 0.302); at least two visits to a medical facility (vs multiple visits) (B = -0.585, SE = 0.343); and fracture of the back (B = 0.730, SE = 0.289), head (B = 1.22, SE = 0.333), and face (B = 1.28, SE = 0.474) were associated with the presence of at least one correlate of abuse.
Certain characteristics in older adults with fracture are associated with potential correlates of abuse. Medical practitioners should have a heightened awareness when these signs are present.