Healthcare professionals perceptions of neglect of older people in Mexico: A qualitative secondary analysis

Billy A. Caceres, Linda Bub, Maribel Negrete, Liliana Giraldo Rodríguez, Allison Squires

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims and objectives: To describe healthcare professionals’ perceptions of neglect of older people in Mexico. Background: Mistreatment of older people, particularly neglect, has emerged as a significant public health concern worldwide. However, few studies have been conducted to examine neglect of older people in low- and middle-income countries. Most research has focused on estimating the prevalence of neglect in older populations with little emphasis on the perceptions of healthcare professionals and their role in addressing neglect of older people. Design: Qualitative secondary analysis. Methods: The parent study consisted of nine focus groups conducted with healthcare professionals at five public hospitals in Mexico. The purpose of the parent study was to perform a needs assessment to determine the feasibility of adapting the Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders programme to Mexico. A qualitative secondary analysis with directed content analysis approach was used to extract data related to neglect of older people. Results: A total of 89 participants representing healthcare professionals from several disciplines were interviewed. Three themes emerged: (i) The main point is not here; (ii) We feel hopeless; and (iii) We need preparation. Participants reported distress and hopelessness related to neglect of older people. Lack of community-based resources was noted as contributing to neglect. Increased education regarding care of older people for both caregivers and healthcare professionals and greater interdisciplinary collaboration were identified as potential solutions to combat neglect. Conclusions: Community-based services and resource allocation need to be re-evaluated to improve the care of older Mexicans. Interdisciplinary models of care should be developed to address concerns related to neglect of older people. Implications for practice: Neglect negatively impacts healthcare professionals’ ability to adequately care for older patients. There is a need to invest in community-based services and models of care to address these concerns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12168
Pages (from-to)e12168
JournalInternational journal of older people nursing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2018


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