Extent of and factors associated with pain among older residents in nursing homes in South Korea: A nationwide survey study

TitleExtent of and factors associated with pain among older residents in nursing homes in South Korea: A nationwide survey study
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsBae S-H, Lee S, Kim H
JournalGeriatrics & Gerontology International
ISBN Number1444-1586
Accession NumberWOS:000502029200001

Aim Pain can have a critical negative impact on the quality of life of institutionalized older people. This study aimed to examine the characteristics of pain and associated factors among older people at nursing homes in Korea. Methods A nationwide survey was carried out on the functional status of 1444 older residents at 91 nursing homes using the interRAI Long-Term Care Facilities instrument. The frequency, intensity, severity and consistency of pain were assessed, and data on potential attributes at the resident and facility levels were collected. Multivariate and multilevel regression analysis models were developed. Results More than one-third (36.7%) of older residents had pain. Pain prevalence differed by several sociodemographic and clinical factors, including sex, depressive symptoms, cognition, or whether or not the resident was a Medical Aid beneficiary. Pain prevalence also varied according to nursing home size and location. In the multivariate, multilevel regression analyses, both having severe pain and having consistent pain were positively associated with depressive symptoms, and the pain experience was significantly lower among older residents in nursing homes that met the nursing staffing standard. Conclusions This is the most comprehensive study on pain assessment in long-term care facilities in Korea using a representative sample so far. Pain is prevalent among nursing home residents in Korea. Besides individual factors, facility characteristics – in particular, meeting the staffing standard – were important to pain control, which implies there is room for improving pain assessment and management through advancing quality of care policies. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2020; 20: 118–124.



Short TitleGeriatrics & gerontology international