Supporting family doctors to address elder abuse: a quasi-experimental study in Malaysia

J Elder Abuse Negl. 2021 Apr 25;1-17. doi: 10.1080/08946566.2021.1919272. Online ahead of print.


This quasi-experimental study examined the effect of Supporting Family Doctors to Address Elder Abuse (SAFE) educational intervention among family doctors practicing at public primary care clinics in Malaysia. SAFE is an intensive, multimodal, locally tailored, and culturally sensitive face-to-face educational intervention on elder abuse. A significant mean score improvement of knowledge [Baseline: 5.33 (SD:1.33) to 6-month post-intervention: 6.45 (SD: 1.35); p<0.001] and perceived behavioral control [Baseline: 50.83 (SD: 8.87) to six-month post-intervention: 56.16 (SD: 9.56); p<0.001] observed in the intervention group compared to the control group. No significant difference in attitude, subjective norm, and practice scores between the two groups over time. SAFE educational intervention for family doctors was effective to improve but not sustainable knowledge and perceived behavioral control toward elder abuse identification and management. We recommend SAFE educational intervention as part of the continuous medical education for family doctors supplemented with a change in organization and national policy.

Keywords: attitude; education; elder abuse; family doctor; knowledge.