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Journal Article

Citation

Evandrou M, Falkingham JC, Qin M, Vlachantoni A. BMJ Open 2017; 7(10): e017152.

Affiliation

Centre for Research on Ageing, ESRC Centre for Population Change, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2017, BMJ Publishing Group)

DOI

10.1136/bmjopen-2017-017152

PMID

29061615

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: This study examines the association between elder abuse and psychological distress among older adults in India and explores whether this association varies by the level of psychosocial and material resources.

DESIGN: The study uses a cross-sectional survey design. SETTING: The data are drawn from a representative sample of 9589 adults aged 60 and above in seven Indian states-Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, West Bengal, Odisha, Maharashtra, Kerala and Tamil Nadu-in 2011. STATISTICAL ANALYSES: Secondary analysis, using bivariate and multivariate logistic regression models, is conducted using the United Nations Population Fund project Building Knowledge Base on Ageing in India survey. Elder abuse (physical and/or emotional) emanating from family members in the previous month before the survey is examined. Multivariate models are run on the total analytical sample and for men and women separately.

RESULTS: The overall prevalence of psychological distress among persons aged 60 and over living in the seven Indian States is 40.6%. Among those older persons who experienced some form of physical or emotional abuse or violence in the last month, the prevalence of psychological distress is much higher than that in the general older population, at 61.6% (p<0.001). The results show that the experience of abuse is negatively associated with the mental health of older adults, and this relationship persists even after controlling for demographic and socioeconomic factors (OR=1.60, 95% CI 1.22 to 2.09). The findings also suggest that household wealth has an inverse relationship with mental health, with the association between experiencing elder abuse and reporting poor mental health being strongest among older people in wealthy households.

CONCLUSIONS: Elder abuse in India is currently a neglected phenomenon, and greater recognition of the link between abuse and mental health is critical to improve the well-being of vulnerable older adults, some of whom may be 'hidden' within well-off households.

© Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.


Language: en

Keywords

elder Aabuse; india; mental health; psychological distress; risk factors

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