Journal of Forensic Dental Sciences
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 201-206

Geriatric forensics - Part 2 "Prevalence of elder abuse and their potential forensic markers among medical and dental patients"


Department of Prosthodontics, College of Dentistry, Jazan University, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Khurshid A Mattoo
College of Dentistry, Jazan University
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0975-1475.172436

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Context: This study is a continuation of the earlier studies and has been extended to investigate the potential forensic markers of elder abuse. Aims: To determine the prevalence of elder abuse in various outpatient departments (OPDs). To study the associated parameters related to the abuser and the abused. To determine the existence of potential forensic markers of elder abuse. Settings and Design: The subjects were randomly selected from the medical and the dental OPDs of the university. Materials and Methods: Eight hundred and thirty two elderly subjects in the age range 40-60 years were interviewed using a questionnaire to determine the existence of elder abuse. The subjects were investigated and examined for weight, nutrition and hydration, vital signs, habits, existing visual and auditory capabilities, medications, disclosure of wills/deeds, signs of depression, and documented cleanliness. The mini-mental state examination, the Geriatric Depression Scale, the Clock drawing test, and the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale were used to determine the potential forensic markers. Statistical Analysis Used: Mean values in percentage were determined by dividing the number of determined subjects by the total number of subjects for that parameter. Results: About 37% in medical and 41% in dental OPDs were found to have suffered from abuse, mostly in the age group 60-70 years. Females received more abuse and a combination of son and daughter-in-law constituted most abusers. Various potential markers of elder abuse and neglect investigated among the elder abuse victims included depression (89%), signs of improper feeding (83%), changes in personal hygiene (69%), need for medical/dental treatment (78%), medication misuse (67%), changes in wills/deeds (26%), decubiti (10%), bruises (17%), skin tears (27%), and confusion (23%). Conclusions: Elder abuse exists in one or more forms in both medical and dental OPDs among both males and females in all age groups.


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