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ESRC follow on research

Who is funding this research?
This research project has been funded by a 12-month Economic and Social Research Council follow on grant, and was conducted between September 2011 and August 2012.

What is the background to this research?
The original full research funded by the New Dynamics of Ageing (NDA) programme, examined professional decision making with regard to the detection and prevention of elder financial abuse. The types of financial abuse that health, social care and banking professionals encounter in practice were established, as well as the triggers they use to identify abuse and subsequent decisions taken. Please visit the 'New Dynamics of Ageing programme research' section of the website to find out more information.

This follow-on research aimed to maximise the impact of the full research findings via the development of web-based decision making tools that key professional groups can access to enhance their ability to detect and respond to financial abuse.

Research outputs
On line training aids - The project developed and tested training materials for use in two web-based decision aids - one for banking professionals and one for social care and health sector professionals. The effectiveness of the decision aid for social care and health sector professionals was tested through a randomized controlled trial, to identify if novices who receive the training are able to make decisions more like experienced professionals.

The training information presented the optimal decision making of the experienced professionals identified in the previous NDA funded research. Training information was designed to explain how to use the most important cues during the task and what cue combinations can lead to which outcome decisions according to experienced professionals.

Educational materials - Educational materials were produced for seminar use, including a small set of case examples available for professionals to access online, which could be used as a resource for training. Podcasts were also developed by experienced professionals from across the sectors thinking aloud as they consider examples of generated scenarios of suspected financial abuse.

What will be the contribution of this research?
The research will be of benefit to professionals who encounter situations in which elder financial abuse is suspected but who do not normally receive training in decision-making. Representative organisations from the health, social care and banking sectors are often required to provide advice and guidance and welcome the sharing of best practice to improve professionals' capacity to safeguard older adults.