Published Papers - Abstract 73

Schofield MJ, Reynolds R, Mishra G, Powers J & Dobson AJ. Screening for vulnerability to abuse among older women: Women's Health Australia study. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 2002; 21(1): 24-39

The validity of a brief self-report screening measure for elder abuse was examined on a nationally representative sample of more than 12,000 older women in the baseline survey of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health. The screening instrument was a modification of the Hwalek-Sengstock Elder Abuse Screening Test. Construct validity was examined using factor analysis and correlation with a wide range of socio-demographic, psychological and health related variables. Four factors, each of three items, were identified representing the following domains: Vulnerability, Dependence, Dejection and Coercion. The Vulnerability and Coercion factors had the highest face validity for abuse and demonstrated moderate to good construct validity. The six items comprising these factors may provide a simple screening tool for elder abuse. The identified correlates of abuse indicators have the potential to enhance policy development, screening, intervention and carer support programs.