Assessing pain in cognitively impaired older adults
Julie Murdoch Clinical nurse specialist in pain management, Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, Exeter, Devon
Debra Larsen Acute pain nurse, Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, Exeter, Devon
Background Accurate assessments of pain help healthcare professionals to identify its source and manage it appropriately. Pain in cognitively impaired older adults is difficult to assess and this can result in poor management and outcomes. In response to the vulnerability of this patient group, researchers have produced a variety of tools for pain assessment in cognitively impaired older adults.
Conclusion Replication research is recommended to validate further and generalise results, although there is enough evidence to support the use of direct observation of behaviour in identifying pain in this group of patients.
18, 38, 33-39.
This article has been subject to double blind peer review
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