Public Health Nurses' Perceptions of Assessing, Identifying, and Addressing Elder Abuse: A Descriptive Qualitative Study
Agbi, Funmilayo Ibiso
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This descriptive qualitative study explores public health nurses perceptions of assessing, identifying, and addressing elder abuse. Ten public health nurses from four public health units were interviewed for the study. Questions were categorized under perceptions of elder abuse, assessment and identification, and addressing elder abuse. A descriptive framework was developed, and findings revealed that the influence of ageism on public health nurses knowledge of elder abuse determined how elder abuse is perceived. Despite general awareness, there is limited knowledge of elder abuse; nurses utilized alternative strategies to assess and identify elder abuse due to absence of screening tools, limited knowledge of interventions, professional obligations and organizational policies and guidelines. This research brings attention to the knowledge gap on elder abuse in nursing scholarship and public health nursing. It highlights the importance of education to advance understanding and promote screening of elder abuse in community nursing. Practice implications and suggestions for future research are provided to aid intervention and advocacy.