Knowledge of Primary Health Care Physicians Toward Elder Maltreatment and Identification of Their Perception of Barriers in Detecting and Reporting Elder Maltreatment in Jeddah

Dr. Shaza Jalal Hashem

Joint Program Family & Community Medicine, Jeddah – 2014

Elder maltreatment has a wide range of prevalence as showed in previous studies worldwide. It is associated with increased the risk for morbidity and mortality of the elder. Only small proportion of elder maltreatment cases are detected and reported.

Therefore, it is very important to assess the knowledge of primary health care physicians about elder maltreatment and identify their perception of barriers in detecting and reporting those cases. 188 of PHC physicians are included in the study. As a result, we found that more than half of the physicians (55.9%) didn’t have any training about elder maltreatment and (64%) of them rated their training as “not very adequate”. Despite that, the majority of the physicians had good knowledge about elder maltreatment.

“Victim denied abuse” and “inadequate community resources” are the most common perceived barriers in detecting and reporting elder abuse. Future studies about prevalence of elder maltreatment in Saudi Arabia should be conducted. Also, there is a need for implementing more training and educational activities about elder maltreatment and developing a clear protocol for reporting and managing suspected elder abuse cases.

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