Key factors influencing decision making in relation to elder financial abuse : A case scenario study of certainty, likelihood of taking action, and action taken.
Gilhooly, M. L.
Little is know about the factors that influence decision making by health, social care and banking professionals in relation to detecting and preventing elder financial abuse. The research questions for this study were, (1) Which case features are most influential in decision making? (2) Which characteristics of the decision maker are most influential in decision making? Data was collected via the World Wide Web where participants (82 health, 70 social care and 70 banking professionals) were asked to read and rate case scenarios. Data was analyzed quantitatively using two methods: regression techniques to identify the importance of each of the factors in respondents’ decision making and cluster analysis to group participants according to their judgement about the certainty that financial abuse is occurring and likelihood of taking action. Of the many cues (case features) that could be used in making a decision, only a few appear to persuade professionals that financial abuse is taking place. Similarly, only a handful of cues influence decision making in relation to actions taken. The cues that exert the greatest influence are: the mental capacity of the older person; the nature of the financial problem and, in the case of those in banking, who is in charge of the older person’s money. The characteristics of the decision making professionals appeared to have little influence on the decisions they made. Age, years of experience, gender and living circumstances did not influence certainty of identifying financial abuse or the likelihood they would take action.