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Pain. 1997 Mar;70(1):3-14.

Chronic pain in elderly people.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


Chronic pain in elderly people has only recently begun to receive serious empirical consideration. There is compelling evidence that a significant majority of the elderly experience pain which may interfere with normal functioning. Nonetheless, a significant proportion of these individuals do not receive adequate pain management. Three significant factors which may contribute to this are (1) lack of proper pain assessment; (2) potential risks of pharmacotherapy in the elderly; and (3) misconceptions regarding both the efficacy of nonpharmacological pain management strategies and the attitudes of the elderly towards such treatments. In this review the most commonly used assessment instruments and patterns of age differences in the experience of chronic pain are described and evidence for the efficacy of psychological pain management strategies for this group is reviewed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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