Risk factors for the occurrence of violence against the elderly: A systematic review

Coralie Sandrine Alves, Carla Serrão


Aims: The aims of this systematic rewiew is to present and systematize the scientific evidence about the risk factors of violence against the elderly, in order to draw up strategic prevention and intervention lines.
Source of data: The scientific databases Pubmed / Medline®, EBSCO® and Cochrane Library® were consulted from January 1, 2012 until December 31, 2016 in Portuguese, English, Spanish and French, on the terms Medical Subject Headings: “Elder Abuse” and “Risk Factor”, with the help of Boolean Operators (AND); parentheses for ordering operators and quotation marks for identifying composite words. At the end, 115 documents were considered for the analysis, from which 13 were extracted for the final analysis.
Summary of findings: It was found that physical violence is the most prevalent form and that women in advanced age are those most at risk of violence. Family dynamics and conflicts are also risk factors for the occurrence of this phenomenon in the elderly.
Conclusions: This review identifies relevant knowledge gaps about the subject of violence against the elderly, demonstrated by the lack of consistency in the definition of violence and forms of violence, the lack of screening studies, and of detecting, intervening and preventing the violence in this age group. Consequently, and despite the privileged position of the family physician/health
professional in the community, the absence of guidelines hampers a more efficient action in detection and prevention of the phenomenon.


elder abuse; risk factor; primary care.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15448/2357-9641.2018.2.29964

ISSN-L: 2357-9641

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