Cross-sectional study on the association between frailty and violence against community-dwelling elderly people in Brazil


Sao Paulo Med. J.




ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: The physical, emotional and cognitive limitations that may be present in the aging process, coupled with family unpreparedness, may lead to greater dependence among the elderly. This favors development of frailty syndrome and greater levels of violence against the elderly. The objective here was to analyze the association between violence against the elderly and frailty; and the geographic distribution of violence against the elderly according to the presence of frailty syndrome. DESIGN AND SETTING: Cross-sectional study on 705 community-dwelling elderly people in Uberaba (MG), Brazil. METHODS: The Fried frailty phenotype and conflict tactics scale were used. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, the chi-square test and a logistic regression model. The intensity of the events and the relationship between clusters of violence and frailty status were assessed by means of kernel estimation. RESULTS: The adjusted analysis indicated that pre-frailty and frailty were associated with physical and verbal aggression (odds ratio, OR = 1.51; 95% confidence interval, CI: 1.04-2.19; OR = 2.12; 95% CI: 1.29-3.47), frailty was associated with physical aggression (OR = 2.48; 95% CI: 1.25-4.94) and pre-frailty and frailty were associated with verbal aggression (OR = 1.48; 95% CI: 1.03-2.15; OR = 2.15; 95% CI: 1.31-3.52), respectively. Regardless of frailty status and its relationship with violence, clusters of occurrences were larger in similar regions in the southeastern part of the municipality; but superimposition of overlays relating to aggression showed that for frail individuals the clusters were smaller than for non-frail and pre-frail individuals. CONCLUSIONS: The condition of frailty was associated with greater chances of violence against the elderly.

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