Measuring older adults' abuse: Evaluation of formative indicators to promote brevity

Gert Lang, Liesbeth De Donder, Bridget Penhale, José Ferreira-Alves, Ilona Tamutiene, Minna-Liisa Luoma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Some literature on elder abuse recommends, and practitioners claim, that there should be better assessment and screening tools. In order to improve the accuracy of measurement instruments, the purpose of this article is threefold: (a) describing the construction of an instrument with formative indicators and the survey design about the sensitive topic of elder abuse, (b) development of an analytic strategy to improve the precision of the measures by (c) evaluating the measurement instrument through quality criteria against outcomes of the instrument. We randomly selected 2,880 home-dwelling older women aged 60 and above from five European Union countries who participated in a survey on elder abuse. Prevalence data on abuse against older women was gathered using a postal (BE, FI, PT), face-to-face (BE, LT), and telephone survey (AT) but using an identical instrument. A table with outcome measures was calculated to evaluate the formative indicators of the measurement instrument, and a decision strategy for item reduction was developed. The results suggest that 12 (35%) of the original 34-indicators instrument can be omitted. The adapted version can provide the same elder abuse prevalence rates (reliability) with the same negative associations in terms of life quality (validity). The results indicate in an applied way how an elder abuse instrument can be evaluated and further developed using formative measures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-542
Number of pages12
JournalEducational Gerontology
Issue number7
Early online date10 Feb 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • elder abuse

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