Marie Beaulieu Ph. D. (Applied Human Sciences), is a full professor at the School of Social Work of the University of Sherbrooke and a researcher at the Research Centre on Aging at the CIUSSS Estrie-CHUS. She has accumulated 25 years of experience as a university professor.
Since November, 2010, she has held the position of Research Chair on Mistreatment of Older Adults financed by the Québec Government.
A phenomenological study of the mistreatment experienced by older adults: a conceptual framework
Problem: Current literature leaves little room for the voices of older adults who experience mistreatment (MT). This presentation aims to unveil the conceptual framework used to give older adults (OA) a voice as part of a phenomenological study to define the meaning given to mistreatment as it is experienced by older adults. Methodology: Systematic review of English and French texts (2011-2016) on the hindering and facilitating factors when OA request help within contexts of MT (14 databases). Steps: English and French keywords; inclusion and exclusion criteria; inventory of items in the databanks; reading abstracts with an inter-judge validation process and analysis of selected articles (n = 29).
Results: The conceptual framework includes a phenomenological time (daily situation of MT, triggering elements which invoke realisation (actions, gestures, words, lack of appropriate action), moment afterwards and of the interview), an emotional journey, the change of status of the older adult in this temporal process (OA, OA in a situation of mistreatment, OA in action, OA in the present moment). It integrates the life course, factors of vulnerability, protection, risk, ethnocultural factors, the type of living environment, the civil status and the accompaniment or support received. The conceptual framework will also make it possible to check if the older adult had expectations of the people involved with them, and whether these expectations were met or not.
Discussion / conclusion: This framework will be field tested with a dozen OA and then the data will be analysed in a holistic way, taking into consideration that these are individual experiences and rigorously described, which will allow for a deep understanding of the experience of mistreatment (O’Reilly, 2013). Different relationships will be analysed: temporal, trust, dependence/interdependence with protagonist and/or proximity relationships (public network, community organisations, private services, family, social network). A follow-up will be made with each participant to validate the conceptual framework and ensure they recognise themselves or their history of MT within it.