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Developing End-User Criteria and a Prototype for an Elder Abuse Assessment System

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2012
162 pages

This report describes the development and features of the Elder Abuse Decision Support System (EADSS), a web-based, computerized system that uses short screening forms and standardized measures to assess elder mistreatment and exploitation.


The EADSS is an effort to improve the identification and tracking of elder mistreatment and exploitation, as well as the reduction of some barriers related to the responsive assessment and delivery of services to victims. At intake, short screeners are used to assess suspected abuse; web-based measures then facilitate interviews with alleged victims, alleged abusers, and others with knowledge of the case. These are in various e-formats with real-time data entry. Next, the system generates a written report with recommendations that staff can use for care planning. It is expected that the system will facilitate improved assessment and reporting, treatment planning, and evaluation of expected system outcomes. The latter include increased convenience, efficiency, and improvements in assessment quality. The research design used Illinois as a "test bed" for development of the EADSS. Although Illinois did not have a decision support system, the Illinois Department on Aging's (IDoA's) Abuse and Neglect Exploitation investigation program was considered an exemplary program; IDoA leaders and community-based staff were interested and amenable to development of the existing information system into a decision support system. Following a preliminary project that elicited feedback on the refinement of the items generated in conceptualization tasks, a computerized decision support system for elder abuse was developed. Phase 1 determined infrastructure requirements and "end-user criteria" that will remove barriers and provide support for use of a computerized decision support system. Phase 2 developed a new, prototype system based on the results of Phase 1. Phase 3 included the test demonstration of the prototype to elicit feedback regarding it usefulness, quality, and affordability. 15 references, 5 figures, and 17 appendixes

Date Published: December 1, 2012