Resident-to-Resident Aggression in Long-Term Care: Analysis of Structured and Unstructured Data From the National Violent Death Reporting System, 2003-2016 [2019]

Aging adults are at risk for multiple types of abuse including emotional, sexual, or physical abuse. Adults in skilled nursing or assisted living facilities might be particularly vulnerable to injury, including fatal injury resulting from incidents of resident-to-resident aggression (RRA). The purpose of this research is to report findings from the multistate National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) related to fatal RRA incidents between years 2003 and 2016. We analyzed structured categorical data and unstructured narrative data on 101 identified fatal RRA incidents among individuals aged 65+. Findings included that victims average 16 years older than exhibitors and dementia diagnoses are present in most cases. Qualitative analysis revealed that events are described as both unexpected and preventable. Training to improve long-term care staff recognition and reporting of RRA events may potentially improve prevention and provide more accurate trend data. NVDRS data provide a useful source to follow trends in fatal RRA going forward.

Kristen A. DeBois, Shelly D. Evans, Sheryl L. Chatfield
Journal of Applied Gerontology, Vol 39, Issue 10, 2020