Pain management in older people: the changes you can make to improve quality of life

Addressing patient needs starts with thorough pain assessment – here’s what you need to know
An older lady sitting on a hospital bed. Picture: iStock

Guidance is due to be updated, but addressing patients’ needs starts with a thorough pain assessment. Here's what you need to know

As the older population of the UK increases, we are seeing an increase in older adults experiencing poorly controlled chronic pain.

There are a number of difficulties when dealing with pain in this group, including fear of using drugs, belief that pain is part of ageing, belief that healthcare professionals are ‘the experts’, not wanting to complain and restrictions associated with reporting pain due to the time-limited consultations.

The factors that hinder pain assessment

Pain assessment is the fundamental first step in the process and national guidelines were published in 2018 to aid this. But often management is hindered by:

  • Lack of evidence supporting approaches applied in this group.
  • Comorbidities that

Want to read more?

Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first three months:

  • Customisable clinical dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals including Nursing Standard
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • NMC-compliant RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?