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Piloting a Comprehensive Caregiver Intervention: A Pathway to Preventing Elder Mistreatment

NCJ Number
Kathleen H. Wilber, Ph.D.; Zachary D. Gassoumis, Ph.D.
Date Published
April 2022
18 pages

In this caregiver (CG) intervention study, the authors sought insights from other fields of family violence in order to inform the hypotheses tested about preventing elder mistreatment (EM).


The authors present the findings of the Comprehensive Older Adult and Caregiver Help (COACH) intervention. The goal of the COACH study was to pilot and evaluate an elder mistreatment (EM) prevention intervention using a rigorous, randomized controlled trial research design and evidence-informed intervention developed during a 24-month planning phase. Prevention includes primary prevention as well as secondary/tertiary prevention. The authors address three questions in the report: how many of those approached agreed to participate, what the attrition rate was and when it occurred; and how many intervention sessions people used. The hypotheses to be tested stated that caregivers (CGs) in the COACH intervention group compared to CGs in the control group would have: lower self-reported EM of the care recipient (CR); higher self-rated quality of life (QoL); and lower caregiver burden. Findings suggested that there was a significant increase in social quality of life in the COACH group than in the control group from pre-test baseline to post-test follow-up, however, the difference reduced and was no longer significant at the three-month follow-up. CG burden declined in the COACH group but not to a statistically significant degree. The authors discuss the importance of the findings given the lack of prevention studies and evidence about the effectiveness of EM interventions.