Sexual Abuse of Older Nursing Home Residents: A Literature Review
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Despite an increasing literature related to elder abuse, sexual abuse of older persons in general and of vulnerable adults living in nursing homes in particular is still sparsely described.The purpose of this study was to assess the state of knowledge on the subject of sexual abuse against older nursing home residents through a literature review. Systematic searches in reference databases including Cinahl, Medline, OVID Nursing Database, ISI Web of Science, PsycINFO, Cochrane Library, and SveMed + were conducted. Through several phases of selection of the articles, using strict inclusion and exclusion criteria, six articles were chosen for a deeper examination. Findings from the review show that sexual abuse occurs in nursing homes and that both older women and men are victims of sexual abuse. Perpetrators appear mainly to be staff and other residents and mainly to be men, but also women abuse both older men and older women. Findings from the literature review show that there is a need for knowledge and further research on the topic of sexual abuse against older residents in nursing homes. Furthermore, there is a need for good policies and reporting systems, as an important step in seriously addressing sexual abuse against older persons.