An Evaluation of AoA's Program to Prevent Elder Abuse: Final Report. University of Texas Health Science Center


Age: Age refers to the age of the participant at time of enrollment in the intervention.

Gender: Response categories include: 'Male' and 'Female.'

Ethnicity: Response categories include: 'White;' 'Black;' 'Hispanic;' 'Asian;' and 'Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander;' 'American Indian and Alaskan Native;' and 'Other.' To harmonize the data across grantees, 'Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander' have been combined with 'Asian' as 'Asian/Pacific Islander,' and 'Hispanic' was grouped into 'Other.'

Education: Education refers to the number of years of school attended by the participant. To harmonize the data across grantees, years of education were grouped into the following categories: 'Less than High School' (0-11), 'High School' (12), 'Some College' (13-15), 'College Graduate' (16), and 'Some Graduate Work' (17 or more).

Marital Status: Response categories include: 'Married;' 'Divorced;' 'Widowed;' 'Separated;' and 'Never Married.' To harmonize the data across grantees, the categories for 'Separated' and 'Divorced' were combined into one category called 'Divorced/Separated.'

Primary Language: Response categories include: 'English;' 'Spanish;' and 'Other.'

Living Situation: Living situation indicates whether the participant lives with another person. Response categories include: 'Alone;' 'With Spouse;' 'With Family;' 'With a Provider;' and 'Other.'

Income: Monthly income of the individual was reported. This value was then multiplied by 12 to obtain the yearly income. To harmonize the data across grantees, amounts were grouped into the following categories: 'Less than $15,000;' '$15,000-$25,000;' '$25,001-$35,000;' '$35,001-$50,000;' '$50,001-$75,000;' '$75,001-$100,000;' and 'Greater than $100,000.'

Physical Function: Physical function is measured using ten questions (listed below) related to functional health on the SF-36 Health Survey. Respondents are asked to assess their ability to perform typical activities. Response categories include: 1=Yes, limited a lot; 2=Yes, limited a little; 3=No, not limited at all. The summary score ranges from 10-30, with higher score indicating better physical functioning.

  1. Vigorous activities, such as running, lifting heavy objects, and participating in strenuous sports.
  2. Moderate activities include moving a table, pushing a vacuum cleaner, bowling, playing golf.
  3. Lifting or carrying groceries.
  4. Climbing several flights of stairs.
  5. Climbing one flight of stairs.
  6. Bending, kneeling, or stooping.
  7. Walking more than a mile.
  8. Walking several hundred yards.
  9. Walking 100 yards.
  10. Bathing or dressing yourself.


Depression: Depression is measured using the GDS. The GDS (short form) is a 15-item questionnaire that asks older adults to respond 'Yes' or 'No' in reference to how they felt over the past week. For items 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, and 15 below, 'Yes' indicates depression (recorded as 1). For items 1, 5, 7, 11, and 13, 'No' indicates depression (recorded as 1). Responses to items are summed and the summary score ranges from 0 to 15. A score greater than 5 on the 15-item scale indicates depression. The scale includes the following questions:

  1. Are you basically satisfied with your life?
  2. Have you dropped many of your activities and interests?
  3. Do you feel that your life is empty?
  4. Do you often get bored?
  5. Are you in good spirits most of the time?
  6. Are you afraid that something bad is going to happen to you?
  7. Do you feel happy most of the time?
  8. Do you often feel helpless?
  9. Do you prefer to stay at home, rather than going out and doing new things?
  10. Do you feel you have more problems with memory than most people?
  11. Do you think it is wonderful to be alive?
  12. Do you feel pretty worthless the way you are now?
  13. Do you feel full of energy?
  14. Do you feel that your situation is hopeless?
  15. Do you think that most people are better off than you are?


Social Support: Social support is measured using the DSSI. The abbreviated DSSI is an 11-item battery that assesses the social network of the participant and the support provided by that network. Included in the DSSI are two dimensions of social support: subjective support subscale and social interaction subscale. Response categories for question 1 are: 1=none; 2=1-2 people; 3=more than 2 people. Response categories for question 2 are: 1=none; 2=1 or 2 times; 3=3 or more times. Response categories for questions 3 and 4 are: 1=none or once; 2=2-5 times; 3=5 or more times. Response categories for questions 5-10 are: 1=hardly ever; 2=some of the time; 3=most of the time. Response categories for question 11 are: 1=very dissatisfied; 2=somewhat dissatisfied; 3=satisfied. The total score is the sum of all the responses. Summary scores range from 11-33, with higher scores indicate greater social support.

  1. Other than members of your family, how many persons in your local area do you feel you can depend on or feel very close to?
  2. How many times during the past week did you spend time with someone who does not live with you, that is, you went to see them or they came to visit you or you went out together?
  3. How many times did you talk to someone (friends, relatives or others) on telephone in the past week (either they called you, or you called them)?
  4. About how often did you go to meetings of clubs, religious meetings, or other groups that you belong to in the past week?
  5. Does it seem that your family and friends (people who are important to you) understand you?
  6. Do you feel useful to your family and friends (people important to you)?
  7. Do you know what is going on with your family and friends?
  8. When you are talking with your family and friends, do you feel you are being listened to?
  9. Do you feel you have a definite role (place) in your family and among your friends?
  10. Can you talk about your deepest problems with at least some of your family and friends?
  11. How satisfied are you with the kinds of relationships you have with your family and friends?


Cognitively Function: Cognitive function is measured using the MMSE. The 11-item measure tests five areas of cognitive function: orientation to time and place, tracking a sequence, attention in a mathematical context, short-term memory, several forms of language challenge, and ability to follow instructions involving visual-spatial manipulations. The summary score ranges from 0-30, and can be interpreted using the categories below:

  1. 25-30=cognitively intact.
  2. 21-24=mild cognitive impairment.
  3. 10-20=moderate cognitive impairment.
  4. <10=severe cognitive impairment.


Type of Abuse: Response categories include: 'Physical Neglect' and 'Medical Neglect.'

Service Type: Response categories include: 'Social Work Services;' 'Medication;' 'Utilities;' 'Rent;' 'Provider Services;' and 'Home Repair.'