Journal Article

More attention to pain management in community-dwelling older persons with chronic musculoskeletal pain

Niina Maria Karttunen, Juha Turunen, Riitta Ahonen and Sirpa Hartikainen

in Age and Ageing

Published on behalf of British Geriatrics Society

Volume 43, issue 6, pages 845-850
Published in print November 2014 | ISSN: 0002-0729
Published online May 2014 | e-ISSN: 1468-2834 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afu052
More attention to pain management in community-dwelling older persons with chronic musculoskeletal pain

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Background: persistent pain is a major problem in older people, but little is known about older persons' opinion about the treatment of persistent pain.

Objective: the objective of this study was to investigate the factors associated with older participants having chronic musculoskeletal pain and hoping persistently that physician would pay more attention to the pain management.

Methods: this 3-year follow-up study was a part of large population-based Geriatric Multidisciplinary Strategy for the Good Care of the Elderly (GeMS) study. The population sample (n = 1000) of the GeMS study was randomly selected from older inhabitants (≥75 years) of Kuopio city, Finland, and participants were interviewed annually in the municipal health centre or in the participant's current residence by three study nurses. The current substudy included participants with chronic musculoskeletal pain (n = 270). Participants were asked specifically whether they hoped that more attention would be paid to pain management by the physician.

Results: at baseline, 41% of the community-dwelling older participants with chronic musculoskeletal pain hoped the physician would pay more attention to pain management. Of those participants, 49% were still continuing to hope after 1 year and 31% after 2 years. A persistent hope to receive more attention to pain management was associated with poor self-rated health (OR: 2.94; 95% CI: 1.04–8.30), moderate-to-severe pain (OR: 3.46; 95% CI: 1.42–8.44), and the daily use of analgesics (OR: 4.16; 95% CI: 1.08–16.09).

Conclusion: physicians need to take a more active role in the process of recognising, assessing and controlling persistent pain in older people.

Keywords: older; community-dwelling; chronic pain; pain management; older people

Journal Article.  3404 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Geriatric Medicine

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