Chronic pain among community-dwelling elderly : a population-based clinical study

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Rapo-Pylkkö , S , Haanpää , M & Liira , H 2016 , ' Chronic pain among community-dwelling elderly : a population-based clinical study ' , Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care , vol. 34 , no. 2 , pp. 159-164 .

Title: Chronic pain among community-dwelling elderly : a population-based clinical study
Author: Rapo-Pylkkö, Susanna; Haanpää, Maija; Liira, Helena
Contributor organization: Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care
Neurokirurgian yksikkö
Department of Neurosciences
Date: 2016
Language: eng
Number of pages: 6
Belongs to series: Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care
ISSN: 0281-3432
Abstract: Objective: To present the occurrence, characteristics, etiology, interference, and medication of chronic pain among the elderly living independently at home. Design/setting: A total of 460 subjects in three cohorts aged 75, 80 and 85 years respectively received visits by communal home-care department nurses for a cross-sectional survey. Of them, 175 had chronic (duration 3 months) pain with an average intensity of 4/10 and/or moderate interference in daily life. Main outcome measures: Clinical assessment was performed for consenting subjects to define the location, intensity, etiology, type, interference and medications of chronic pain. Results: According to home visits, elderly people with chronic pain rated their health and mobility worse and felt sadder, lonelier and more tired than those without chronic pain. A geriatrician made clinical assessments for 106 patients with chronic pain in 2009-2013. Of them, 66 had three, 35 had two and 5 had one pain condition. The worst pain was musculoskeletal in 88 (83%) of patients. Pain was pure nociceptive in 61 (58%), pure neuropathic in 9 (8%), combined nociceptive and neuropathic pain in 34 (32%), and idiopathic in 2 (2%) patients. On a numerical rating scale from 0 to 10, the mean and maximal intensity of the worst pain was 5.7 and 7.7, respectively, while the mean pain interference was 5.9. Mean pain intensity and maximal pain intensity decreased by age. Duration of pain was longer than 5 years in 51 (48%) patients. Regular pain medication was used by 82 (77%) patients, most commonly paracetamol or NSAIDs. Although pain limited the lives of the elderly with chronic pain, they were as satisfied with their lives as those without chronic pain. Conclusions: Elderly people in our study often suffered from chronic pain, mostly musculoskeletal pain, and the origin of pain was neuropathic in up to 40% of these cases. However, elderly people with chronic pain rarely used the medications specifically for neuropathic pain. Based on increased loneliness, sadness and tiredness, as well as decreased subjective health and mobility, the quality of life was decreased among those with chronic pain compared with those without pain.
Subject: Chronic pain
general practice
neuropathic pain
nociceptive pain
pain medication
3124 Neurology and psychiatry
3112 Neurosciences
Peer reviewed: Yes
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion

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