MRI’s Role In Detecting Elder Abuse

MRI’s Role In Detecting Elder Abuse

While MRI’s play an important role in diagnosing various issues and concerns, MRIs also reveal important information for researchers and scientists. A study published by the American Journal of Roentgenology has shown that radiologists have an important part in identifying elder abuse.

Elder Abuse and Radiologists

Radiologists play a vital role in identifying signs of abuse by using MRI’s. However, many radiologists admit to not having formal research in the area. MRI’s can show signs of potential alder abuse through high-energy injuries such as rib fractures, injuries experiencing multiples stages of healing, and injuries that are inconsistent with reports.

Elderly adults often experience abuse not only in elder care facilities, but even in their own home or a relative’s home.  There are various reasons for elder abuse which can range from having a neglectful caretaker or people with financial intentions.  As people age, they are less able to fight back in these situations which can often lead to signs of the abuse being hidden.

This is where radiologists step in.  While child abuse is easier to identify upon using diagnostic imaging techniques, elder abuse is unfortunately more difficult to identify. The difficulty in identifying the signs abuse is differentiating them from common injuries that occur with age. Elderly people who experience abuse often have injuries that are severe or repetitive in nature.

The Research

Out of a group of radiologists being surveyed, this study showed that only two radiologists could identify elder abuse based off of informal or formal training they received.  Many of the radiologists believed they missed cases of elder abuse because of the lack of training on the topic.

Elder abuse is an issue that will hopefully be able to be properly addressed by radiologists given the proper training.  With almost 10% of elderly individuals experiencing some type of abuse, hopefully MRI’s will have a greater impact is reducing this number significantly.

Kerrville Imaging will be following the research and training studies as they develop. We are hoping that MRI’s will continue to help people, especially in regards to radiologists having a role in reducing elder abuse.