David Burnes

Title(s): 
Assistant Professor; Columbia University School of Social Work (PhD); University of Toronto, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work (MSW); University of Guelph Sciences (Mathematics)
CV: 
Email: 
Office Location: 

Room 338

Research Interests: 

Elder abuse/mistreatment

Financial exploitation of older adults (family abuse, scam/frauds, identity theft)

Resident-to-resident aggression in nursing homes

Goal Attainment Scaling

Biography: 

Dr. David Burnes is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work and an Affiliate Scientist at Baycest Health Sciences, Rotman Research Institute. Dr. Burnes completed a PhD at Columbia University School of Social Work in New York City, concentrating in gerontology and advanced practice.

Dr. Burnes’ program of research centers around the issue of elder mistreatment (abuse, neglect, financial exploitation) – a pervasive public health issue with major consequences to older adults and costs to society. Specifically, his research focuses on understanding and preventing elder mistreatment, including the development of basic science (prevalence, risk factors, severity), developing/evaluating interventions, and developing elder mistreatment outcome measures. Dr. Burnes has published several peer-reviewed research papers on the topic of elder mistreatment, including papers in top gerontology journals (e.g., Journal of the American Geriatrics Society; The Gerontologist; The Journals of Gerontology, Series B – Social Sciences). He has obtained several external research grants to fund elder mistreatment research, including federal-level grants from Canada (Social Science and Humanities Research Council) and the U.S. (National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Justice). Dr. Burnes has been invited to advise international organizations on the topic of elder mistreatment, including the World Health Organization and National Institutes of Health. He also advises government entities, including state-level adult protective services programs, on the development and implementation of elder abuse response intervention practices and measurement strategies.

Book Chapters: 
  • Pillemer, K., & Burnes, D. (2018). Elder abuse. In M. H. Bornstein (Ed.),The Sage Encyclopedia of Lifespan Human Development. Pages 177-179. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Burnes, D., Bachman, R., & Lachs, M.S. (2017). Elder crime victimization. In E.A. Capezuti, M. Malone, P. Katz, & M. Mezey (Eds.), Encyclopedia of elder care (4th). Pages 177-179. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company
  • Burnes, D., Zhao, R, & Pillemer, K. (2017). Violence and aggression in older adults: What works? What works best? In P. Sturmey (Ed.), Section 106. The Wiley Handbook of Violence and Aggression. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons Inc.
  • Lachs, M.S., Bachman, R., Burnes, D. (2013). Elder crime victimization. In E.A. Capezuti, M. Malone, P. Katz, & M. Mezey (Eds.), Encyclopedia of elder care (3rd). Pages 176-178. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company
Invited Publications: 
  • Pillemer, K., Burnes, D., Riffin, C., & Lachs, M.S. (In Press). Elder abuse: Background paper. World Health Organization (WHO): World Report on Ageing and Health.
Publications In Refereed Journals: 
  • Burnes, D., Acierno, R., & Hernandez-Tejada, M. (2018). Help-seeking among victims of elder abuse: Findings from the National Elder Mistreatment Study. Advance Online Access. The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Social Sciences. doi:10.1093/geronb/gby122
  • Burnes, D., Lachs, M.S., & Pillemer, K. (2018). Addressing the measurement challenge in elder abuse interventions: Need for a severity framework. Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect. Advance Online Access, 1-6. doi:10.1080/08946566.2018.1510354
  • Burnes, D., Breckman, R., Henderson Jr, C., Lachs, M.S., & Pillemer, K. (2018). Utilization of formal support services for elder abuse: Do informal supporters make a difference? The Gerontologist. Advance Online Access, 1-6. doi:10.1093/geront/gny074
  • Burnes, D., Connolly, MT., Hamilton, R., & Lachs, M.S. (2018). The feasibility of goal attainment scaling to measure case resolution in elder abuse and neglect adult protective services intervention. Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect, 30, 209-222. doi:10.1080/08946566.2018.1454864
  • Breckman, R., Burnes, D., Ross, S., Marshall, P.C., Suitor, J., Lachs, M.S., & Pillemer, K. (2018). When helping hurts: Non-abusing family, friends and neighbors in the lives of elder mistreatment victims. The Gerontologist, 58, 719-723. doi:10.1093/geront/gnw257
  • Burnes, D., Lachs, M.S., Burnette, D., & Pillemer, K. (2017). Varying appraisals of elder mistreatment among victims: Findings from a population-based study. The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Social Sciences. Advance Online Publication, 1-10. doi:10.1093/geronb/gbx005
  • Burnes, D., Pillemer, K., & Lachs, M.S. (2017). Elder abuse severity: A critical but understudied dimension of victimization for clinicians and researchers. The Gerontologist, 57, 745-756. doi:10.1093/geront/gnv688.
  • Burnes, D., Henderson, C., Sheppard, C., Zhao, R., Pillemer, K., & Lachs, M.S. (2017). Prevalence of financial fraud and scams among older adults in the United States: A systematic review and meta-analysis. American Journal of Public Health (AJPH), 107, e13-e31. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2017.303821
  • Burnes, D. (2017). Community elder mistreatment intervention with capable older adults: Toward a conceptual practice model. The Gerontologist, 57, 409-416. doi:10.1093/geront/gnv692.
  • Burnes, D. & Lachs, M.S. (2017). The case for individualized goal attainment scaling measurement in elder abuse interventions. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 36, 116-122. doi:10.1177/0733464815581486.
  • Pillemer, K., Burnes, D., Riffin, C., & Lachs, M.S. (2016). Elder abuse: Global situation, risk factors and prevention strategies. The Gerontologist, 56, S194-S205. doi:10.1093/geront/gnw004.
  • Teresi, J.A., Burnes, D., Skowron, E.A., Dutton, M.A., Mosqueda, L., Lachs, M.S., & Pillemer, K. (2016). State-of-the-science on prevention of elder abuse and lessons learned from child abuse and domestic violence prevention: Toward a conceptual framework for research. Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect, 28, 263-300. doi:10.1080/08946566.2016.1240053
  • Burnes, D., Rizzo, V.M., Gorroochurn, P., Pollack, M., & Lachs, M.S. (2016). Understanding service utilization in cases of elder abuse to inform best practices. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 35, 1036-1057. doi:10.1177/0733464814563609
  • Burnes, D., Pillemer, K., Caccamise, P.L., Mason, A., Henderson, C.R., Berman, J.,…Lachs, M.S. (2015). Prevalence of and risk factors for elder abuse and neglect in the community: A population-based study. Journal of the American Geriatric Society (JAGS), 63, 1906-1912. doi:10.1111/jgs.13601.
  • Rizzo, V.M., Burnes, D., & Chalfy, A. (2015). A systematic evaluation of a multidisciplinary social work–lawyer elder mistreatment intervention model. Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect, 27, 1-18. doi:10.1080/08946566.2013.792104.
  • McDonald, L., Hitzig, S.L., Pillemer, K.A., Lachs, M.S., Beaulieu, M., Brownell. P., Burnes, D.,…,Thomas C.  (2015). Developing a research agenda on resident-to-resident aggression: Recommendations from a consensus conference.  Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect, 27, 146-167. doi:10.1080/08946566.2014.995869.
  • Peterson, J.C., Burnes, D., Caccamise, P.L., Mason, A., Henderson, C.R.,…Pillemer, K., Lachs. M.S. (2014). Financial exploitation of older adults: A population-based study. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 29, 1615-1623. doi:10.1007/s11606-014-2946-2.
  • Burnes, D., Rizzo, V.M. & Courtney, E. (2014). Elder abuse and neglect risk alleviation in protective services. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 29, 2091-2113. doi:10.1177/0886260513516387.
  • Burnes, D., & Burnette, D. (2013). Broadening the etiological discourse on Alzheimer’s disease to include trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder as psychosocial risk factors. Journal of Aging Studies, 27, 218-224. doi:10.1016/j.jaging.2013.03.002.
  • Burnes, D. (2011). Approaching mental health work with older adults. [peer-reviewed review of the book Aging and mental health, 2nd ed., by D.L. Segal, S.H. Qualls, & M.A. Smyer]. The Gerontologist, 51, 576-578. doi:10.1093/geront/gnr075.
  • Burnes, D., Antle, B.J., Williams, C.C., & Cook, L. (2008). Mothers raising children with sickle cell disease at the intersection of race, gender, and illness stigma. Health and Social Work, 33, 211-220. doi:10.1093/hsw/33.3.211.
  • Barrera, M., Andrews, G., & Burnes, D. (2008). Age differences in perceived social support by pediatric hematopoietic progenitor cell transplant patients: A longitudinal study. Child: Care, Health and Development, 34, 19-24. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2214.2007.00785.x.
Other Selected Publications: 
  • Burnes, D., Pillemer, K., Sheppard, C., Wassel, M., & Barber, C. Systematic review of interventions targeting ageism against older adults. PROSPERO 2018 CRD42018088349. Available from: http://www.crd.york.ac.uk/PROSPERO/display_record.php?ID=CRD42018088349
  • Burnes, D. (2012). A cross-national comparison of perceptions of aging and older adults. Proceedings of the United Nations NGO Committee on Ageing (COA), New York, USA.
  • Burnes, D. (2011). Book review. [Review of the book Trauma: Contemporary directions in theory, practice, and research, by S. Ringel, & J.R. Brandell]. Smith College Studies in Social Work, 81(4), 391-394. doi:10.1080/00377317.2011.616842
Awards and Honors: 

Select/Recent

  • Faculty Achievement Award (2018) – Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work (AGESW)
  • Senior Service America Junior Scholar Award (2016) – Gerontological Society of America (GSA)
  • Early Research Award (2014) – Ontario Research Coalition of Research Institutes/Centres on Health and Aging
  • National Doctoral Student Leadership Award (2014) – Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work (AGESW)
  • Ruth Fizdale Dissertation Award in Aging and Social Services (2013) – Columbia University
  • Sylvia Rosenberg Dissertation Award in Aging & Mental Health (2013) – Columbia University
External Research Grants: 
  • U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) – R01 – 1R01AG060080-01 (2018 – 2021), Principal Investigator (PI)
  • U.S National Institute of Justice (NIJ) – NIJ-2017-11185 (2018 – 2021), Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI)
  • U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL) – 90EJSG0031-01-00 (2018 – 2021), Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI)
  • Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) – Planning/Dissemination Grant (2018 – 2019), Co-Investigator
  • Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) – Insight Grant – 435-2017-0578 (2017 – 2020), Principal Investigator (PI)
  • Elder Justice Foundation Grant (2016 – 2018), Principal Investigator (PI)
  • Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) – Insight Development Grant 430-2015-00785 (2015 – 2017), Principal Investigator (PI)
  • Ontario Research Coalition of Research Institutes – Early Researcher Award (2014 – 2016), Principal Investigator (PI)
  • Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) – Doctoral Fellowship (2012 – 2014), Principal Investigator (PI)
University Research Grants: 
  • University of Toronto Connaught Fund – New Researcher Award (2015 – 2017)
  • Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Institutional Research Grant (2016)
  • Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Institutional Research Grant (2015)
  • Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Institutional Research Grant (2014)
  • Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Institutional Travel Grant (2014)
  • Columbia University School of Social Work – Doctoral Studies Research Scholarship (2010 – 2013)