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Pain Manag Nurs. 2011 Jun;12(2):70-81. doi: 10.1016/j.pmn.2010.08.005. Epub 2011 Jan 28.

Nondrug therapies for pain management among rural older adults.

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College of Nursing, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA.


This quasiexperimental two-group pilot study tested an intervention aimed at educating older adults in rural communities about the appropriate use of nondrug treatments for pain. Earlier data reveal that older adults use significantly less nonpharmacologic modalities than their younger counterparts, and that pain self-treatment is prevalent in rural areas. Individuals aged ≥60 years who experienced pain in the preceding 2 weeks were recruited from rural Midwestern communities through the use of flyers and information sessions at hospitals, churches, and community organizations. Upon enrollment, participants selected a date for an educational session, which was randomized to the experimental or control condition. All participants (n = 53) completed a series of questionnaires (Brief Pain Inventory, Symptom Distress Scale, Perceived Control Scale) at the initial educational session (T1) and at a two-week follow-up session (T2). Participants in the control and experimental groups attended a 30-minute educational session on safe use of over-the-counter medications; the experimental group also received an additional 30-minute session on safe and effective use of heat, cold, and relaxation breathing. Hot and cold packs and relaxation breathing instruction were provided for use over the 2-week period. There was a significant increase in the use of all nondrug treatments and a decrease in pain-related distress and current pain scores in the experimental group compared with the control group. This study informs nurses and other health care providers on the value of education for use of nondrug therapies in conjunction with pharmacologic pain management among rural older adults.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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