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A Global Response to Elder Abuse - page 142 / 149





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Focus groups with PHC professionals (EASI questions)

  • ere were four focus groups, with a total

of 30 general practitioners, in four different Spanish cities (Madrid, Málaga, Vilanova y la Géltru and Badajoz).

On the whole, the general practitioners found the questionnaire to be a very use- ful tool for physicians who did not know how to approach the issue of elder abuse. However, it was felt to be crucial to provide the PHC professionals with a clear defini- tion of elder abuse or with a small intro- duction, since some participants did not understand the objective of the tool – that is, to raise awareness and to generate a sufficient level of suspicion for elder abuse. It was also unclear to whom the question- naire referred. Some thought the terms “people”, “anyone” and “someone” were too vague; others regarded this openness as an opportunity to obtain an answer without forcing the older person to accuse some- body directly. ere was no consensus on the length of the questions. For example, some felt that longer questions were more difficult to understand but would allow for a shorter questionnaire, but others felt that shorter questions might be more comprehensible but would result in a longer questionnaire. e rationale was that the more extensive the questionnaire – even if the questions are made shorter – the more likely that an older person would lose attention. Participants requested further clarification on the best place to administer the questionnaire, since PHC settings are normally busy and leave the PHC profes- sional a limited amount of time for each patient; during home visits, however, there


is a risk that other people, including the abuser, may be present.

Question 1: is initial question was con- sidered to be an “ice-breaker” and a general question to detect a potential dependence, an important risk factor for the occur- rence of elder abuse. Some thought that the amount of help a person needed did not necessarily indicate an abusive situation.

  • e question was, therefore, found to be of

medium relevance.

It was pointed out by some participants that the term “people” should be specified further, but others saw this ambiguity as an opportunity to answer without making a personal reference.

A separation of the question into two parts (basic and secondary needs) might be useful. Activities that were felt to be less important were “shopping” and “bank- ing”; however, “going to the toilet” could be added.

In order to shorten the question, the fol- lowing alternatives were suggested:

“Do you need help with something?”

“Do you need help?”

“Do you need help with the basic activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, eating? And with …[secondary needs]?”

“Has anyone close to you helped you with bathing or dressing? Has anyone helped you with shopping or banking?”

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