Forensic Markers of Physical Elder Abuse, Los Angeles, California, 2014-2017 (ICPSR 37050)

Version Date: Aug 7, 2018 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Diana C. Homeier, University of Southern California

https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR37050.v1

Version V1

These data are part of NACJD's Fast Track Release and are distributed as they were received from the data depositor. The files have been zipped by NACJD for release, but not checked or processed except for the removal of direct identifiers. Users should refer to the accompanying readme file for a brief description of the files available with this collection and consult the investigator(s) if further information is needed.

This study sought to: (1) document the spectrum of injuries and injury characteristics observed among physically-abused older adults reported to Adult Protective Services (APS) and compare those findings to injuries found among non-abused older adults, (2) identify observable injury characteristics and abuse circumstances that healthcare providers, law enforcement and prosecutors consider to be key forensic markers of physical abuse, (3) document information and evidence integral for achieving successful criminal prosecution, and (4) describe approaches that community-based frontline workers can employ to better document evidence of physical abuse.

The data included in this collection were collected under a National Institute of Justice-funded project that sought to document the spectrum and characteristics of injuries observed among physically abused, community-dwelling APS clients.

The collection includes two SAS datasets: injury.sas7bdat (with 47 variables and 403 cases) and subjectleveldata.sas7bdat (with 122 variables and 165 cases); and three SAS System Program Files: analysis-code-v1.sas, cleaned-injury-datasets-v1.sas, and formats.sas. Demographic variables in the collection are in the subjectleveldata.sas7bdat dataset, and include age, year of birth, gender, race, language, and level of education.

Homeier, Diana C. Forensic Markers of Physical Elder Abuse, Los Angeles, California, 2014-2017. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2018-08-07. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR37050.v1

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United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (2013-IJ-CX-0025)

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Access to these data is restricted. Users interested in obtaining these data must complete a Restricted Data Use Agreement, specify the reason for the request, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
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2014-09 -- 2017-02
2014-09 -- 2017-02
  1. These data are part of NACJD's Fast Track Release and are distributed as they were received from the data depositor. The files have been zipped by NACJD for release, but not checked or processed except for the removal of direct identifiers. Users should refer to the accompanying readme file for a brief description of the files available with this collection and consult the investigator(s) if further information is needed.

  2. The datasets in this collection can be linked by the variable subject_id, which is a unique identifier assigned to each subject.
  3. The SAS datasets and syntax files (contained in a .zip package) were not changed in any way by ICPSR. These original files do not reflect any of the processing done by ICPSR.

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Although Adult Protective Services (APS) is responsible for investigating and intervening in cases of abuse, relatively little research has been done to study physical abuse injuries among APS clients. The study sought to document the spectrum of injuries observed among older adult victims of physical elder abuse presenting to APS and identify forensic markers of physical abuse, which can be used to distinguish these injuries from those of non-abusive origin.

This study used a case-control design to study the characteristics of injuries presenting among older adults who have been reported to Adult Protective Services (APS) for physical elder abuse and identify markers of abuse that differentiate these injuries from non-abusive trauma and injury.

Data were collected from 61 Adult Protective Services (APS) clients aged 65 years of age or older who had been reported to APS for allegations of physical abuse, where the physically abusive incident was within the past 21 days. Eligible study subjects also needed to speak English or Spanish or have an appropriate interpreter available who was not suspected of having previously or currently abused the client. Potential subjects were, whenever possible introduced to the research nurse by the APS worker assigned to their case; where that was not possible, the individual's information was provided to the research team and the potential subjects were contacted directly. During the study period, all cases of physical elder abuse reported in Los Angeles County were forwarded to the research team for consideration and potential recruitment.

Control group data were collected from a sample of 164 demographically similar, non-abused older adults aged 65 and older receiving routine medical care from a Geriatrics Outpatient Clinic. Potential subjects were approached in the clinic's waiting room. Subjects were required to speak English or Spanish or have an appropriate interpreter available who was not suspected of abusing the subject. Control subjects were also screened for lifetime incidence of family violence, including child maltreatment, intimate partner violence, and elder mistreatment. Potential subjects were excluded from participation if they had experienced elder mistreatment, which was defined as any form of mistreatment experienced after reaching age 65.

The subject-level dataset includes data from all study subjects. The injury-level dataset includes recent, non-medically-caused injuries present during physical examination of study subjects. Scars were excluded from the dataset. Injuries or physical findings attributable to medical conditions or medical interventions (e.g. surgery, vaccination, blood draws), were excluded from the dataset.

Cross-sectional

Study Group: Adults aged 65 and older in Los Angeles County who were referred to Adult Protective Services (APS) due to suspicions of physical elder abuse. Comparison group: Adults aged 65 and older receiving services from a geriatrics outpatient clinic in Los Angeles County.

Individuals

The data in this collection include variables related to older adult sociodemographic characteristics, functional ability, fall risk, medical history, medication usage, and physical, cognitive, and mental health status.

Several Likert-type scales were used.

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Notes

  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions. Restricted data files are not available for direct download from the website; click on the Restricted Data button to learn more.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented.