Management of chronic pain in older people

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Chronic pain is common in older people as a result of the accumulation of chronic disease processes with age. However, pain is not a normal consequence of physiological ageing alone. Epidemiological data on chronic pain in older people show increasing prevalence to age 70 years and a high prevalence in some subgroups such as those living in residential care who tend to be frail, with multiple medical problems. Management of chronic pain requires a diagnosis of the source(s) of pain and an understanding of the impact other medical, physical and psychological problems may have on making the diagnosis and implementing treatment. Physiological changes with ageing may also affect the choice of therapy in the elderly. Analgesics and other pharmacological therapies are of prime importance and best used in a regimen to suit individual lifestyles. Combined with physical, functional, and psychological strategies, the aim of pain management is to achieve optimum reduction in pain sensation, improvement in independence and help the older person achieve a good quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-367
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian Journal of Hospital Pharmacy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998
Externally publishedYes

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