known regarding the impact of such forms of abuse. It would be desirable to compare the impacts of culturally specific forms of abuse with traditional types of abuse.
Another observation is that studies using older persons or caregivers as informants found much higher rates than those using clinicians as informants. While older persons subjected to physical violence and neglect may present with physical injuries or other observable characteristics, such as malnutrition or dehydration, those who suffered emotional abuse or financial abuse may have no presenting symptoms at all. This may also be the reason why physical violence is overrepresented in clinician-identified cases. Contrary to the common perception that perpetrators are unwilling to admit to abusive behaviors, several studies using caregivers as informants found prevalence rates comparable to those of victim reports. Further research should compare the prevalence rates of reports from different informants in order to achieve a comprehensive picture of the actual rates of abuse.
Cultural sensitivity is essential for research into elder abuse in Asia. It goes beyond using culturally sensitive instruments that measure cultural-specific types of abuse. As discussed earlier, many older Asians may be reluctant to report their own abusive experience to a person outside of their families. In conducting research, special attention should be paid in building rapport with participants in the data collection process. Studies that employed indirect estimates, for example, by asking participants to report abuse incidents that they have heard of or witnessed, may be an alternative to traditional research that directly asks participants about their abusive experience.
Research into elder abuse in Asia remains underrepresented in the literature. Part of the reason is that scholars seldom publish in international journals. In searching the literature, the author was aware that a sizable amount of work in elder abuse in Asia was published as research reports in Korean and Japanese. Scholars conducting research on elder abuse in Asia should be encouraged to publish in international English journals to disseminate their knowledge.
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