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Predictors of Physical Abuse in Elder Patients with Fracture

September 12, 2022

Journal: Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Global Research & Reviews

Who: Mursal Gardezi, BS; Harold G. Moore, MD; Lee E. Rubin, MD; Jonathan N. Grauer, MD

Overview: Elder abuse is a public health issue requiring attention. Unlike abuse in the pediatric population, predictors of elder abuse in patients with fracture have not been well defined.

Elderly patients with physical abuse and fracture were abstracted using the 2007 to 2017 National Emergency Department Sample database. Univariate comparisons, multivariate regression, and adjusted odds ratios were used to determine independent predictors of elder abuse compared with nonabuse fracture controls.

Thirteen percent of elder physical abuse patients presenting to the emergency department had fracture. Of all patients with fracture, elder abuse patients tended to be younger; be female; belong to lower income quartiles; and have codiagnoses of volume depletion, mental disorders, dementia, and intellectual disability. Presentation with other forms of elder abuse, such as psychological abuse, neglect, and sexual abuse, and multiple fractures were also associated with elder physical abuse. Multivariate regression found elder abuse to be more likely in the setting of skull and rib fractures and less likely in the setting of femur and foot and ankle fractures.

This study identified predictors of elder physical abuse in fracture patients older than 60 years. As with pediatric abuse, heightened awareness of potential physical abuse should be considered, especially in higher risk patients.

Submitted by John Ready on September 12, 2022