Briony Jane Murphy
Monash University, Australia
Scientific Tracks Abstracts: J Gerontol Geriat Res
With an ageing global population, there is an increasing demand for health and aged care services including nursing homes. As such, improving the quality of care and quality of life for residents in these settings is an internationally recognised imperative. Despite the vast amount of research and prevention initiatives for suicide and violence-related deaths among younger populations, little is known about how older adults die in nursing homes from intentional causes including suicide and resident-to-resident aggression. Medico-legal death investigation information is a highly valuable yet underused data source for public health research which can help to further our understanding of intentional deaths in this vulnerable population. To address this gap, doctoral research is currently examining the frequency, nature and potential risk (or protective factors) of intentional cause deaths among nursing home residents using existing medico-legal death investigation information. Systematic reviews conducted in 2014, reveal a paucity of research on intentional deaths in nursing homes and highlight gaps in our understanding of these deaths, providing a guide for future research in this area. Preliminary data collection commenced in 2015 has encountered a number of methodological issues associated with the use of existing medico-legal death investigation informationas a data source for research on intentional deaths among nursing home residents. Despite this, early evidence suggests that the analysis of this information has the potential to address many of the gaps in knowledge identified by the systematic reviews. It is anticipated this research will help to build a greater knowledge base and improve current understanding of these deaths to inform prevention strategies and alter attitudes towards intentional deaths among nursing home residents to equal those afforded to similar deaths in younger populations. A truly ageless era is one where each individual’s life is valued equally and irrespective of age.
Briony Jane Murphy is a PhD scholar (March 2014) with the Department of Forensic Medicine, Monash University. She is using existing medico-legal death investigation information to describe the frequency, nature and potential risk or protective factors of intentional deaths among nursing home residents in Australia. The expected completion date is March 2017. She has a background in criminal justice administration and injury prevention research after graduating from RMIT in 2013 with first class honours in Criminal Justice Administration (BA) completing a thesis titled ‘Service contacts proximate to intimate partner homicide’. Her research interests include Epidemiology, Injury Prevention, Public Health and Aged Care.
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