JAMA Internal Medicine Study Highlights
A study by XinQi Dong, M.D., M.P.H., of Rush University Medical Center, and Melissa A. Simon, M.D., M.P.H., of Northwestern University Medical Center, Chicago, suggests elder abuse is associated with increased rates of hospitalization. (Online First)
Of the 6674 community-dwelling older adults who participated in the Chicago Health and Aging Project, 106 were identified by social services agencies for elder abuse from 1993 to 2010. The outcome of interest was the annual rate of hospitalization obtained from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
The unadjusted mean annual rate of hospitalization was 0.62 for those without reported elder abuse and 1.97 for those with reported elder abuse. Psychological abuse, financial exploitation, caregiver neglect, and 2 or more types of elder abuse were associated with increased rates of hospitalization, after considering the same potential confounders. Results from interaction term analyses suggested that the association between elder abuse and hospitalization did not differ across the levels of medical comorbidities, cognitive and functional impairment, or psychosocial distress.
“Elder abuse was associated with increased rates of hospitalization in this community population. Future research is needed to explore the casual mechanisms between elder abuse and hospitalization,” the study concludes.
JAMA Internal Med. Published online April 8, 2013. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.238.