Resources for the Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment based
Proactive and Personalised Primary Care of the Elderly
Acute pain can be reliably assessed, both at rest (important for comfort) and during movement (important for function), with one-dimensional tools such as numeric rating scales or visual analogue scales (Breivik H, 2008).
Patients with chronic non-cancer pain report even worse quality of life than dying cancer patients. This is a dramatic illustration of the major impact of chronic pain conditions on the quality of life of persons with long-lasting pain (Fredheim OH, 2008).
The WHO analgesic ladder is a useful guide to the stepwise incremental approach to analgesic prescribing, although it should be noted that older people are less likely to tolerate NSAIDs safely.
Use of opioids may be necessary depending on the level of pain, but care should be taken in escalation (high doses are not contraindicated but ‘start low, go slow’ is a reasonable approach) and in avoidance of side effects (typically prescribing medication to maintain regular bowel function).
Neuropathic pain can be identified by its differing qualities. The treatment approach is likely to be different.
This Read More page is an extension of Pain Assessment
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The Pain Assessment is one of 5 sub-domains of the
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The Medical Assessment is one of 8 domains of the
Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA)
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