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Issue of Abuse in Nursing Homes

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Social Work
Wordcount: 939 words Published: 18th May 2020

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The student researched the topic of abuse in nursing homes caused by staff members. The student researched the cause of the abuse, who was doing the abuse, the types of abuse, and how often it occurred. The student researched articles related to what kind of abuse was happening, what level of training the staff had and the different ages, and the educational levels of the staff that were abusing the residents of the nursing home.

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The purpose of the student’s paper was to find out who was abusing the residents and what was causing the staff to abuse the residents. The student’s hypothesis was that burnout, lack of education, and lack of education were the causes of the abuse of the residents. The student researched this topic because nursing home abuse is a growing problem and it is not reported to the authorities as often as it should be. The student felt the need to research the causes of abuse to help better train and educate staff on how to prevent abuse.

Article Description

The student researcher used the article titled, “Inadequate care in Norwegian nursing homes-as reported by nursing staff.”  The article’s purpose was to describe the types of inadequate care and how often it happened and who committed the abuse. The article also expected to find out whether the nursing home staff report the abuse differently due to their age, education, and years of experience. The types of data collected by the researchers in this article were the researchers gave out questionnaires to fifty-one area nursing homes.

The researchers gave the questionnaires to the nursing staff, nurses’ aides, therapists, and other. According to Malmedal (2009), regarding education, 25% were educated at the university level: 20% of them were Registered Nurses, 3% were social educators, 1% occupational therapists and 0.5% were physiotherapists. Malmedal (2009) stated that the age range of the participants were from ages 16-74 and all staff was female.  The researcher conducted the questionnaire which had 42 items covering different acts of inadequate care (Malmedal, 2009). According to Malmedal (2009), the data were collected from October and November 2005. 

Statistical Analysis

The data collected in the research conducted was descriptive statistics for observed and committed acts of inadequate care according to Malmedal (2009). The date was collected anonymously to allow the nursing staff freedom to answer the questions. The first set of data collected were the reports and observations of inadequate care by staff and the second set of data was the actual committing of the abuse by the staff themselves. The article uses tables to organize and show the types of data collected and the frequency.

Data Evaluation

The outcomes of the data were the younger group of staff tended to report more observed acts than the oldest (Malmedal, 2019).  The group with the higher education level, the higher the mean on observed acts of all types (Malmedal, 2019). Those with more than 25 years of experience reported more observed acts of physical abuse according to Malmedal (2019). The overall findings were the staff with less education and training and of younger age were more likely to commit acts of abuse than just observe it.

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 The staff with more education and job experience and older in age tended to just observe acts of abuse. Malmedal (2019), the high frequency of reported acts of inadequate care are discouraging and have to be taken seriously. The student researcher found that the article helped to support the student researcher’s hypothesis that with proper training and higher levels of education, along with experience and age, nursing home staff learn how to cope with their work/home life and learn how to properly care for nursing home residents. The study helped the student researcher prove their hypothesis to be true that with proper and ongoing training and education nursing home staff would be better equipped to care for residents.

Statistical Important to Social Work

The ongoing training and education of nursing home staff helps to stop or at least lower the amount of nursing home resident abuse (Willis, 2019).  The study performed questionnaires with nursing home staff at area nursing homes and was followed up by an additional questionnaire after training and additional education was provided to the staff (Willis, 2019). The student found that the education and continuous training gave the nursing home staff the tools they needed to properly care for the residents (Willis, 2019). This study is important to Social Work because social workers because abuse in nursing homes is a problem and social worker want to keep people safe and healthy (Willis, 2019).


  • Malmedal,W., Ingebrigtsen, O., & Saveman, B. (2009). Inadequate care in Norwegian nursing homes-as reported by nursing staff. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 231-242. doi:10.1111/j.1471-6712.2008.00611.x
  • Salkind, N.J., (2017). Statistics for people who (think they) hate statistics (6th ed.). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.
  • Willis, A. (2019). Abuse in nursing homes. (Unpublished work). Delta State University.


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