Information processing of sexual abuse in elders

J Forensic Nurs. 2006 Fall;2(3):113-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-3938.2006.tb00069.x.


Sexual abuse is considered to be a pandemic contemporary public health issue, with significant physical and psychosocial consequences for its victims. However, the incidence of elder sexual assault is difficult to estimate with any degree of confidence. A convenience sample of 284 case records were reviewed for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms. The purpose of this paper is to present the limited data noted on record review on four PTSD symptoms of startle, physiological upset, anger, and numbness. A treatment model for information processing of intrapsychic trauma is presented to describe domain disruption within a nursing diagnosis of rape trauma syndrome and provide guidance for sensitive assessment and intervention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / complications
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology
  • Elder Abuse / diagnosis
  • Elder Abuse / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Rape / diagnosis
  • Rape / psychology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / etiology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*
  • Stroke / complications
  • Stroke / psychology