Correlates and management of nonmalignant pain in the nursing home. SAGE Study Group. Systematic Assessment of Geriatric drug use via Epidemiology

TitleCorrelates and management of nonmalignant pain in the nursing home. SAGE Study Group. Systematic Assessment of Geriatric drug use via Epidemiology
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsWon A., Lapane K., Gambassi G., Bernabei R., Mor V., Lipsitz L.A
JournalJ Am Geriatr Soc
Date PublishedAug
Accession Number10443853
KeywordsActivities of Daily Living, Affect/physiology, African Continental Ancestry Group, Age Factors, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Analgesics/therapeutic use, Anti-Anxiety Agents/therapeutic use, Antidepressive Agents/therapeutic use, Cognition Disorders/epidemiology, Cross-Sectional Studies, Databases, Depression/epidemiology, Female, Geriatric Assessment, Health Status, Hispanic Americans/statistics & numerical data, Human, Male, mental health, Minority Groups/statistics & numerical data, Nursing Homes/*statistics & numerical data, Pain/*epidemiology/psychology/therapy, Physician's Practice Patterns, Prevalence, Sex Factors, Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S., Time Factors, United States/epidemiology

OBJECTIVE: Nonmalignant pain is a common problem among older people. The prevalence of pain in the nursing home is not well studied. We looked at the association between nonmalignant pain, psychological and functional health, and the practice patterns for pain management in the nursing home. DESIGN: A cross-sectional study. SETTING: Nursing Home in four US states. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 49,971 nursing home residents from 1992 to 1995. MEASUREMENTS: We used the SAGE database (Systematic Assessment of Geriatric drug use via Epidemiology), which linked information from the Minimum Data Set and nursing home drug utilization data. The MDS items measured included pain, activities of daily living (ADL) function, mood, and time involved in activities. The use of analgesics, anxiolytics, and antidepressants was also documented. RESULTS: Daily pain was reported in 26% of nursing home residents. The prevalence was lower among men, persons more than age 85, and racial minorities. Persons suffering pain daily were more likely to have severe ADL impairment, odds ratio (OR) (2.47 (95% CI, 2.34-2.60)), more depressive signs and symptoms (OR 1.66 (95% CI, 1.57-1.75)), and less frequent involvement in activities (OR 1.35 (95% CI, 1.29-1.40)). Approximately 25% of persons with daily pain received no analgesics. Residents who were more than 85 years old (OR 1.15 (95% CI 1.02-1.28)), cognitively impaired, (OR 1.44 (95% CI, 1.29-1.61)), of male gender (OR 1.17 (95% CI, 1.06-1.29)), or a racial minority (OR 1.69 (95% CI, 1.40-2.05) and OR 1.56 (95% CI, 0.70-1.04) for blacks and Hispanics, respectively) were at greater risk of not receiving analgesics. Approximately 50% of those in pain used physical and occupational therapies, which was more than two times higher (OR 2.44 (95% CI, 2.34-2.54)), than use for those not in pain. CONCLUSIONS: Daily nonmalignant pain is prevalent among nursing home residents and is often associated with impairments in ADL, mood, and decreased activity involvement. Even when pain was recognized, men, racial minorities, and cognitively impaired residents were at increased risk for undertreatment. More education and research is necessary to improve the recognition and management of pain in the nursing home, remembering that attention should be paid to populations at increased risk for underrecognition and undertreatment.


Short TitleJ Am Geriatr Soc