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Susann Rabold and Thomas Goergen
Although there is some anecdotal evidence for the phenomenon of abuse and neglect of community‐dwelling older care recipients by home care services, empirical data on this…
Although there is some anecdotal evidence for the phenomenon of abuse and neglect of community‐dwelling older care recipients by home care services, empirical data on this topic are almost completely lacking in Germany. Thus the main purpose of this study was to determine scope and risk factors of abuse and neglect of older care recipients by nursing staff.
A self‐report study was conducted among home care nursing staff in the German city of Hanover. A total of 503 professional caregivers took part in the study; the response rate was 43.3 per cent.
Nearly 40 per cent of all respondents reported at least one incident of abuse or neglect of an older care recipient within the last 12 months. Psychological abuse/verbal aggression and neglect were most common. Serious problem behaviour can be predicted by care recipients’ aggressive behaviour, the number of a nurse's clients suffering from dementia, subjects’ use of alcohol as a means of alleviating work‐related stress, and general judgments of quality of care delivered by the respective home care service.
The study provides a first impression about the extent and potential causes of abuse and neglect by home care nursing staff. Findings show that the problem of abuse and neglect of care recipients is not limited to nursing homes and care by family members. The paper also points at opportunities for prevention and accentuates the need for further research in this field.