Elder Abuse pp 433-457 | Cite as

Elder Abuse Prevention Interventions

  • Karen SteinEmail author


There are a plethora of prevention intervention strategies and services available to assist in identifying elders at risk for mistreatment, services available for those who are identified as high risk for mistreatment, and far-ranging but uncoordinated universal awareness and education activities and initiatives mostly mounted at local levels. However, we have little or no evidence of the long-term efficacy of the many different strategies and services currently employed to reduce the occurrence or the severity of elder abuse and neglect through prevention interventions. Without a valid body of outcomes-based evidence, informed by well-designed and sound methodological research, we do not know if the investment in our current programs and services has any positive payoffs in terms of improved individual or societal well-being. This chapter sets forth a framework for differentiating elder abuse prevention interventions from treatments, and reviews the current state of knowledge regarding the impacts of universal, selective, and indicated prevention interventions. The chapter answers the following questions: Are elder abuse public awareness and education effective universal prevention strategies? Are screening, continuing education and training effective selective prevention strategies? Are individualized counseling, home visits combined with case management, and multidisciplinary teams effective indicated prevention strategies? Recommendations are presented for building a body of reliable and valid prevention intervention research that emphasizes experimental design, sophisticated data analysis, and rigorous evaluation.


Elder abuse prevention Universal elder abuse interventions Selective elder abuse interventions Indicated elder abuse interventions Outcome evaluation 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Public Policy and AdministrationUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA

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