Considering both the problems faced by older people in Brazilian society and the lack of training facilities in primary health care, there is a clear need for such a survey to be carried out.
ere were seven focus groups – four with
health-care professionals and three with older people – and two workshops with physicians and social workers. e groups were held in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Inclusion criteria for the older people were being age 65 years or older, being literate and being free of mental impairment. For health professionals, the inclusion criterion was to be working in primary health care.
e major obstacle for recruitment was the
fact that family health practitioners, who see an average of 20 patients a day, had to be absent from work in order to take part in this study.
Focus groups with older people
A total of 23 older people took part in the discussions. ey were split into three groups – one group of seven males, one group of eight females and one mixed group of eight participants. All lived in ur- ban or suburban areas. Portuguese was the first language of 96% of the participants; the remaining 4% spoke Spanish.
Most of the participants could not clearly understand the purpose of this survey. Many thought they had to respond to the 12 questions and therefore could not extrapolate whether each question was im-
A GLOBAL RESPONSE TO ELDER ABUSE AND NEGLECT
portant and/or comprehensible. A general comment was that the questions should be phrased in a simple, short and straightfor- ward way. Furthermore, it was mentioned that some questions, such as Questions 1 and 12, require a relationship of trust, otherwise they may not be answered truth- fully.
e most important questions selected by
the older people were Questions 4, 5 and 7 (equally) and 3 and 6 (equally) (in order of
Question 3: is question was considered important but too long. Furthermore, the expression “basic daily needs” should be explained in more details, otherwise most older people would not understand it. It could be replaced by “your day-to-day/daily needs and activities”, or could it be com- pleted with some examples such as “wash- ing your clothes”, “taking a bath or shower” and “preparing meals”.
It was suggested that the question was rephrased as follows:
“In your day-to-day/everyday life, do you need anyone to help you?”
Question 4: is question was regarded as self-explanatory, but it should be split because of its length.
Question 5: is question was considered highly relevant, even though it is long and repetitive. e words “sad”, “shamed”, “fearful”, “anxious” and “unhappy” refer to different emotions and cause confusion.