How To Detect Abuse During A Family Health Assessment Discussion.

How To Detect Abuse During A Family Health Assessment Discussion.

In the United States, elder abuse, domestic violence and child abuse are common problems. Violence and abuse are approximated to affect close to 10 million people annually thus noted to be a public health concern (In Kaakinen et al., 2018).  How To Detect Abuse During A Family Health Assessment Discussion.At any point in the healthcare system, healthcare providers will eventually treat or evaluate a patient who is a victim of elder abuse, child abuse or domestic violence.


The most significant characteristics that will lead a healthcare provider to suspect domestic violence can be revealed in the physical, emotional or sexual forms. Physical forms may include: skin bruises, lesions, red eyes, sprains over the wrists and red marks over the neck region, lack of interest in sex, eating disorders, a depressed mood, inattentiveness, anxiety and social withdrawal (In Kaakinen et al., 2018).   In case it is a spouse, most of them will attempt to hide these marks by wearing sunglasses’ or putting on makeup.

Child abuse may be perpetrated in the physical, emotional or sexual forms. Signs to look out for include: being withdrawn from peers, dislike for the opposite sex in case of rape, aggression, post-traumatic stress disorder, poor hygiene, physical scars, anxiety and depression. Healthcare providers should also look out for eating disorders, incidences of running away from home and delay in developmental milestones (In Kaakinen et al., 2018).

Elder abuse may be perpetrated in form of threats, intimidation, financial treachery and neglect. In the physical form, the characteristics to look out for include: impairment, injury or pain, inappropriate use of medications, lesions and bruises. Besides, poor hygiene, depression, eating disorders, social withdrawal and anxiety are sings to watch out for (In Kaakinen et al., 2018).    How To Detect Abuse During A Family Health Assessment Discussion.

In our facility, the procedure for reporting these types of abuse is: taking a detailed patient history with a lot of emphasis on the family history and socio-economic history in suspected cases, conducting a head-toe physical examination and reporting the findings more so in cases of physical or sexual abuse, conducting investigations and writing a detailed report of the findings, managing the patient accordingly, counseling and linking with the social services department.



In Kaakinen, J. R., In Coehlo, D. P., In Steele, R., & In Robinson, M. (2018). Family health care

nursing: Theory, practice, and research. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis. How To Detect Abuse During A Family Health Assessment Discussion.

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