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Our objective was to examine and describe the common socio-demographic and clinical characteristics of first time older sex offenders.
Research papers published in MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and EMBASE were searched systematically. Following removal of duplicates and irrelevant papers, a total of 423 papers were reviewed to determine whether the selection criteria were met. A total of seven publications were included and evaluated by two researchers.
Of the seven publications, there were two retrospective research studies and five case reports. There was a higher proportion of neurocognitive disorder in this offender group and the victims were usually vulnerable individuals. Yet, cognitive assessments were rarely done or reported. Two subtypes of older sex offenders were identified: (i) offenders who had offended in the past but were not previously detected; (ii) first-time offenders with a high proportion of neurocognitive disorder.
There is a paucity of research in first time sex offending by older people. This review has highlighted a need for better designed studies to explore the characteristics of older sex offenders. Better collaboration between forensic and old-age psychiatric services is required for improved assessment and management of older sex offenders.
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