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Christina Casselgren

Main research interest concerns different aspects of elder abuse with particular focus on violence victimization in persons with neurocognitive disorders.


Elder abuse in persons with neurocognitive disorders: Prevalence, detection, risk factors and protective factors.

Elder abuse can be physical, psychological, financial or sexual and it also includes neglect. In previous studies cognitive impairment has been identified as a risk factor for elder abuse. A group of patients which often develops cognitive impairment, is people with Parkinson’s disease. This group also suffers from physical impairment, which is another identified risk factor of elder abuse suggesting that this group of patients could be at high risk of being subjected to abuse. Abuse in older adults is related to increased morbidity and reduced survival. However, healthcare professionals often refrain from asking questions about abuse. User friendly screening tools are desirable to increase the detection of elder abuse.

The main aim of this doctoral project is to improve the identification of elder abuse in persons with neurocognitive disorders. Another aim is to increase the understanding of protective factors against as well as risk factors of exposure to elder abuse in the same group of patients. In the long-term perspective we hope this will contribute to an improvement of preventive actions and that those affected receive adequate help and care. The doctoral project is also part of the larger research project REAGERA (Responding to Elder Abuse in GERiAtric care).

Four sub-studies are intended. The aims of the studies are: Study 1 - to develop and validate screening instruments directed both to persons with neurocognitive disorders and to their next of kin for detection of elder abuse and abuse in a lifetime. Study 2 – to translate, culturally adapt, and validate a screening instrument, REAMI (Risk on elder abuse and mistreatment instrument), directed towards professionals working in healthcare and social services. Study 3 - to identify and deepen the understanding of different factors involved in elder abuse in persons with neurocognitive disorders. Study 4 - to examine the prevalence of abuse in persons with Parkinson’s disease and to identify possible factors associated with elder abuse in this population.