Abuse and neglect of the elderly: are emergency department personnel aware of mandatory reporting laws?

Ann Emerg Med. 1990 Sep;19(9):970-7. doi: 10.1016/s0196-0644(05)82556-9.


Alabama emergency department personnel were surveyed in 1988 concerning elder abuse and Alabama's mandatory reporting and protective services law. Most ED personnel did not understand the requirements of the law. While emergency physicians, registered nurses, and licensed practical nurses had seen cases of elder abuse in their careers, differences existed in their satisfaction with the disposition of cases reported to state authorities. Licensed practical nurses and physicians reported greater satisfaction with the response received; registered nurses were much less satisfied. However, all accepted responsibility for reporting elder abuse. ED registered nurses and emergency physicians were divided on the degree to which they could diagnose elder abuse, did not believe there were sufficient services to care for those who had been abused, and were unsure whether there were procedures for reporting cases of elder abuse. All ED personnel need to know that cases they report will result in protection of abuse victims.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alabama
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Elder Abuse / diagnosis
  • Elder Abuse / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Emergency Medicine*
  • Humans
  • Nurses
  • Physicians
  • Surveys and Questionnaires