Elder Abuse: The role of general practitioners in community-based screening and multidisciplinary action

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Journal of General Practice, 2018, 47 (4), pp. 132 - 135
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Background There are growing calls for elder abuse screening to be conducted by a range of community-based service providers, including general practitioners (GPs), practice nurses, home care workers and lawyers. Improved screening may be a valuable first step towards improving elder abuse detection and response; however, practitioners need evidence-based strategies for screening and follow-up. Objective This article summarises several brief screening tools for various forms of elder abuse. Screening tool properties and evidence gaps are noted. As elder abuse often requires multidisciplinary responses, initiatives to connect health, legal and other service providers are highlighted. Discussion GPs are trusted professionals who are well placed to identify older patients at risk of, or experiencing, various forms of abuse. They should be aware of available screening tools and consider how best to incorporate them into their own practice. They also play an important role in multidisciplinary action to address elder abuse.
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