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Aging Ment Health. 2018 Jun;22(6):808-812. doi: 10.1080/13607863.2017.1318258. Epub 2017 May 3.

Pain interference and depressive symptoms in communicative people with Alzheimer's disease: a pilot study.

Author information

1
a Vanderbilt University School of Nursing , Nashville , TN , USA.
2
b Vanderbilt University School of Medicine , Nashville , TN , USA.
3
c Center for Quality Aging , Vanderbilt University Medical Center , Nashville , TN , USA.
4
d Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences , Vanderbilt University School of Medicine , Nashville , TN , USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To examine pain interference in verbally communicative older adults with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease (AD) and to examine the association of pain interference with cognitive function and depressive symptoms.

METHOD:

For this pilot study, we used a cross-sectional design to examine pain interference (Brief Pain Inventory-Short Form), cognitive function (Mini-Mental State Exam), and depressive symptoms (15-item Geriatric Depression Scale) in 52 older (≥65) communicative adults with AD who reported being free from chronic pain requiring daily analgesics.

RESULTS:

Pain was reported to interfere with general activity (13.5%), mood (13.5%), walking ability (13.5%), normal work (11.5%), enjoyment of life (11.5%), relationships with other people (9.6%), and sleep (9.6%). Pain interference was significantly positively correlated with both cognitive function (rs = 0.46, p = 0.001) and depressive symptomology (rs = 0.45, p = 0.001), indicating that greater reported pain interference was associated with better cognitive function and more depressive symptoms.

CONCLUSION:

Among older people with AD who report being free from chronic pain requiring daily analgesics, 2 in 10 are at risk of pain interference and depressive symptoms. Those with better cognitive function reported more pain interference and depressive symptoms, meaning pain is likely to be under-reported as AD progresses. Clinicians should regularly assess pain interference and depressive symptoms in older persons with AD to identify pain that might be otherwise overlooked..

KEYWORDS:

Dementia; community dwelling adults with dementia; end-of-life; pain assessment

PMID:
28466655
PMCID:
PMC6370478
DOI:
10.1080/13607863.2017.1318258
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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