We aimed to investigate the prevalence rate of abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial, neglect) of older persons (AO) in seven cities from seven countries in Europe (Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Spain, Sweden), and to assess factors potentially associated with AO.
A cross-sectional study was conducted in 2009 (n = 4,467, aged 60-84). Potentially associated factors were grouped into domains (domain 1: age, gender, migration history; domain 2: education, occupation; domain 3: marital status, living situation; domain 4: habitation, income, financial strain). We calculated odds ratios (OR) with their respective 95 % confidence intervals (CI).
Psychological AO was the most common form of AO, ranging from 10.4 % (95 % CI 8.1-13.0) in Italy to 29.7 % (95 % CI 26.2-33.5) in Sweden. Second most common form was financial AO, ranging from 1.8 % (95 % CI 0.9-3.2) in Sweden to 7.8 % (95 % CI 5.8-10.1) in Portugal. Less common was physical AO, ranging from 1.0 % (95 % CI 0.4-2.1) in Italy to 4.0 % (95 % CI 2.6-5.8 %) in Sweden. Sexual AO was least common, ranging from 0.3 (95 % CI 0.0-1.1) in Italy and Spain to 1.5 % (95 % CI 0.7-2.8) in Greece. Being from Germany (AOR 3.25, 95 % CI 2.34-4.51), Sweden (OR 3.16, 95 % CI 2.28-4.39) or Lithuania (AOR 2.45, 95 % CI 1.75-3.43) was associated with increased prevalence rates of AO.
Country of residence of older people is independent from the four assessed domains associated with AO. Life course perspectives on AO are highly needed to get better insight, and to develop and implement prevention strategies targeted at decreasing prevalence rates of AO.
The special norms in testing for HIV infection are not typical of testing or screening for other diseases. In four European countries, we studied health professionals' views on HIV testing This study is based on cross-sectional surveys of two groups of health professionals: presidents of selected health professional societies and head physicians and nurses of selected hospital clinics in Belgium, Estonia, Finland, and Portugal in 2008. A common structured semi-anonymous questionnaire was used in the four countries. The number of societies responding varied from five to 10 and for hospital clinics from six to 18; the response rates were from 32% to 100% and 41% to 100%, respectively. Opinions on whether HIV testing is like any other test and on the value of specific approaches in HIV testing varied both within and between countries. Some professionals thought that HIV testing is different from the testing of other infectious diseases; others thought that such an exceptional approach may be a disservice to people and to the health system. Many professionals thought that HIV testing should not be thought of only from the point of view of the individual to be tested, but also from that of other people (potential patients). Obligatory testing was considered appropriate in certain circumstances. Generally, more HIV testing in health care was called for. Normalization of HIV testing, i.e., considering it like any other diagnostic test, is unlikely to meet much opposition from health professionals. Larger surveys are needed to confirm the results.
Being a victim of abuse during one's life course may affect social relations in later life. The aims of this study were to: (i) examine the association between lifetime abuse and perceived social support and (ii) identify correlates of perceived social support among older persons living in seven European countries.
A sample of 4467 women and men aged 60-84 years living in Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Spain and Sweden was collected through a cross-sectional population-based study. Abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial and injury) was assessed through interviews or interviews/self-response questionnaire based on the Conflict Tactics Scale-2 and the UK study on elder abuse. Perceived social support was assessed by the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support.
Victims of lifetime abuse perceived poorer social support in later life. Multivariate analyses showed that high levels of perceived social support were associated with being from Greece and Lithuania (compared to Germany), being female, not living alone, consuming alcohol and physical activity. Poorer perceived social support was associated with being from Portugal, being old, having social benefits as the main source of income, experiencing financial strain and being exposed to lifetime psychological abuse and injuries.
Our findings showed that exposure to psychological abuse and injuries across the lifespan were associated with low levels of perceived social support, emphasizing the importance of detection and appropriate treatment of victims of abuse during their life course. Future research should focus on coping strategies buffering the negative effects of abuse on social relationships.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of self-reported underuse of medications due to procurement costs amongst older persons from seven European urban communities.
The data were collected in a cross-sectional study ("ABUEL, Elder abuse: A multinational prevalence survey") in 2009. Randomly selected people aged 60-84 years (n?=?4,467) from seven urban communities: Stuttgart (Germany), Athens (Greece), Ancona (Italy), Kaunas (Lithuania), Porto (Portugal), Granada (Spain) and Stockholm (Sweden) were interviewed. Response rate - 45.2%. Ethical permission was received in each country.
The results indicate that 3.6% (n?=?162) of the respondents self-reported refraining from buying prescribed medications due to cost. The highest prevalence of this problem was identified in Lithuania (15.7%, n?=?99) and Portugal (4.3%, n?=?28). Other countries reported lower percentages of refraining from buying medications (Germany - 2.0%, Italy - 1.6%, Sweden - 1.0%, Greece - 0.6%, Spain - 0.3%). Females refrained more often from buying medications than males (2.6% vs. 4.4%, p?
Height is regarded as a marker of early-life illness, adversity, nutrition and psychosocial stress, but the extent to which differences in height are determined by early-life socioeconomic circumstances, particularly in contemporary populations, is unclear. This study examined socioeconomic differences in children's height trajectories from birth through to 21 years of age in four European countries.
Data were from six prospective cohort studies-Generation XXI, Growing Up in Ireland (infant and child cohorts), Millennium Cohort Study, EPITeen and Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study-comprising a total of 49?492 children with growth measured repeatedly from 1980 to 2014. We modelled differences in children's growth trajectories over time by maternal educational level using hierarchical models with fixed and random components for each cohort study.
Across most cohorts at practically all ages, children from lower educated mothers were shorter on average. The gradient in height was consistently observed at 3 years of age with the difference in expected height between maternal education groups ranging between -0.55 and -1.53?cm for boys and -0.42 to -1.50?cm for girls across the different studies and widening across childhood. The height deficit persists into adolescence and early adulthood. By age 21, boys from primary educated maternal backgrounds lag the tertiary educated by -0.67?cm (Portugal) and -2.15?cm (Finland). The comparable figures for girls were -2.49?cm (Portugal) and -2.93?cm (Finland).
Significant differences in children's height by maternal education persist in modern child populations in Europe.
BACKGROUND: Violence against and abuse of older persons (VAO) aged >60 years has become a prominent public health issue. From January 2009-July 2009, we conducted the cross-sectional European study 'Abuse of the elderly in the European region' (ABUEL) among community-dwelling elderly populations aged 60-84 years in Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. We describe the cooperation, completion and response rates; the modes of recruitment and administration; and analyse differences in response rates between countries. METHODS: We calculated the population fraction (respondents in each age/sex group divided by the population in the same age/sex group) and the population fraction ratio (PFR) to describe and analyse heterogeneity between countries. To analyse associations between methods and response rates we conducted cross tabulations and logistic regression analyses. RESULTS: The response rates ranged from 18.9% in Germany to 87.4% in Portugal. Men were underrepresented in all countries (PFR?