Elder abuse is a widespread phenomenon worldwide, and screening tools are part of a helpful strategy to support professionals in recognizing the signals and indicators of mistreatment. They can also guide professionals’ decisions to request more comprehensive assessments.
Through PCG Polska in partnership with the Erasmus+ Program’s Partners under the coordination of the University of Minho (Portugal), Project SAVE has released a systematic review of the research literature available for this issue. The research focuses on a standardized approach to elder abuse screenings.
It identified 37 screening instruments cited in the literature of which 8 were tested in research. Three well-established assessment tools were identified:
- The Hwalek-Sengstock Elder Abuse Screening Test (HS-EAST)
- Vulnerability to Abuse Screening Scale (VASS) and
- Elder Abuse Suspicion Index © (EASI©).
They are available for use in the practice setting. The current goal of Project SAVE is to train professionals across various fields to administer and interpret these elder abuse assessments.
You can access the full literature review in English and other languages here and in Polish here.
This literature review shares compelling points that address both the benefits and challenges of screenings. As this review focuses on preliminary assessment findings and more research is necessary to help professionals make the most informed elder abuse decisions, it is worth noting that the use of screening tools extends beyond direct patient care. Standardized screening practices are useful in social and healthcare professional training and development. They are also useful tools to raise general awareness of elder abuse in communities across the globe—to promote a broader view of the circumstances and factors that can determine the mistreatment and abuse of older adults.
About Project SAVE
Project SAVE* is implemented by a consortium coordinated by PCG Polska (Poland) in partnership with Anziani e non solo (Italy); Cadiai (Italy); Osk VoiVa. (Finland); and two academic institutions: the University of Minho (Portugal) and Cyprus University of Technology (Cyprus).
The above described systematic review of the literature was conducted through Project SAVE. The upcoming project results will include Training Curriculum in elderly abuse prevalence, Screening Guidelines and an e-course in the same topic.
*Project SAVE is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Program of the European Union under the Grant Agreement 2020-1-PL01-KA202-081643.