This blog discusses how a multi-talented designer, writer, and artist became a passionate elder abuse advocate. Nancy Oatts was kind enough to sit down with The NYC Elder Abuse Center’s (NYCEAC) Talitha Guinn for an interview about her personal experience encountering elder abuse, the surprising journey on which it led her, and hopes for a future where elder abuse is mitigated through the relationships that are built between neighbors. More →
NYCEAC is developing a network of Brooklyn-based medical and mental health care providers to assist elder abuse victims. As an initial step towards accomplishing this goal, the Geriatric Mental Health Alliance and an Advisory Group* surveyed providers to ascertain their interest in working with NYCEAC, their expertise in working with elder abuse victims and training needs. The information gathered from the survey was compiled into a directory. The following provides information on the survey methods utilized.
The survey approach was deemed the most effective mechanism to reach a diverse group of health and mental health providers throughout the borough of Brooklyn. A survey was developed to identify Brooklyn-based health and mental health providers who have the ability and interest to collaborate with the NYC Elder Abuse Center. The survey identified general information about the provider/organization, scope of services, whether the provider/organization has resources to address the mental health and/or physical health needs of elder abuse victims, and interest in collaborating with the NYCEAC. The survey protocol received approval from Weill Cornell Medical College’s IRB.
The subjects surveyed included Brooklyn-based health and mental health providers and organizations identified from existing databases (medicare.gov, cornellcares.com, NYS Department of Health, 800lifenet.org, aagpgpa.org, socialworkers.org, doctorsdig.com, ucomparehealthcare.com, vitals.com, npfinder.com). These databases included the name and address (and in some cases phone and/or email addresses) of the providers.
The survey was disseminated (through US Postal Service, fax and/or email) to approximately 800 health and mental health providers (e.g. physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, and social workers) and organizations (e.g. inpatient facilities, outpatient health/mental health facilities, health/mental health day programs). Subjects responding to the survey consented by virtue of responding. Verification was made of who responded and who did not by comparing those individuals and organizations that completed the survey to the database of subjects who were sent the survey.
Participants were asked to complete a survey about their health or mental health practice including general information (name, address, telephone number, etc), scope of services, resources to address the physical and/or mental health needs of elder abuse victims, interest in collaborating with the Center, etc. Participants could opt to complete the survey via hard copy or online. If participants who are mailed the survey wanted to complete the survey online, the URL link to the online survey via a survey mechanism (constantcontact.com) was made available on the mailed hard copy. The data from the online survey was stored and available for download from Constant Contact. The data from the online survey was only accessible by password to one co-investigator.
As indicated, the investigators collected names, addresses and other identifying information used to determine their ability to address the behavioral health needs of elder abuse cases and if interested, for inclusion in a provider directory. Most participants could complete the survey within 15-20 minutes. The survey was piloted by members of the NYCEAC’s Steering Committee.
Data Analysis and Results
Members of the Project Planning Advisory Committee reviewed and analyzed the surveys. They sorted through the surveys to identify providers who had the ability to address the medical and/or mental health needs of elder abuse victims as well as those providers who were interested in collaborating with the Center on assessments and interventions. (For the survey analysis, click here. For the directory, click here.)
For more information, please contact Kim Williams at email@example.com.
* The survey and survey methods were developed by the NYC Elder Abuse Center’s Mental Health Advisory Council: Risa Breckman, LCSW; Deborah Heiser, PhD; Peg Horan, LCSW; Mark Lachs, MD, MPH; Barbara Paris, MD; Julia Sear, LCSW; Judith Weissman, PhD; Kim Williams, LMSW. The survey was then piloted tested by over 10 members of the Center’s Steering Committee.