Analgesic use and pain in residents with and without dementia in aged care facilities: a cross-sectional study

Edwin CK Tan, Renuka Visvanathan, Sarah N. Hilmer, Agnes Vitry, Tina Emery, Leonie Robson, Kaisu Pitkala, Jenni Ilomaki, J. Simon Bell

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27 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: To investigate analgesic use and pain in people with and without dementia in Australian residential aged are facilities. Methods: A cross-sectional study of 383 residents of six residential aged are facilities was conducted. Nurses assessed self-reported and clinician-observed pain. Analgesic use data were extracted from medication charts. Logistic regression was used to investigate factors associated with analgesic use. Results: Analgesics were administered to 291 (76.0%) residents in the previous 24 hours. The prevalence of analgesic use was similar among residents with and without dementia (79.3% vs 73.4%, P = 0.20). Residents with dementia had a higher prevalence of self-reported pain than those without dementia but similar prevalence of clinician-observed pain. In residents with dementia, high care residence and dementia severity were associated with analgesic use. Conclusion: The prevalence of analgesic use was similar among residents with and without dementia. Both self-reported and clinician-observed measures are needed in regular pain assessments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-187
Number of pages8
JournalAustralasian Journal on Ageing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2016


  • analgesic
  • dementia
  • home for the aged
  • opioid
  • pain

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