New ICD-11 Classification of Chronic Pain

In the ICD-11, chronic pain will be treated as the “parent code” for chronic primary pain, chronic cancer-related pain, chronic postsurgical or post-traumatic pain, chronic neuropathic pain, chronic secondary headache or orofacial pain, chronic secondary visceral pain, and chronic secondary musculoskeletal pain. Developers believe this will allow for greater flexibility and representation of chronic pain than the previous ICD versions. [Learn More] - posted 2/5/2019

New web-based platform shows success in improving self-management of chronic pain

The PainTracker Self-Manager (PTSM) is a new web-based platform using acceptance and commitment therapy to enhance self-management of chronic pain. A recent pilot study found that the PTSM significantly improves chronic pain self-efficacy, acceptance, pain intensity and interference, and satisfaction with pain treatment. The PTSM is made up of 5 online modules plus additional coaching sessions via phone.  [Learn More] - posted 1/28/2019

Combination pharmacotherapy effectively treats chronic low back pain but increases patient risk 

A recent meta-analysis of twelve randomized controlled trials found that combination pharmacotherapy outperforms monotherapy and placebo for pain relief of chronic low back pain. However, patients receiving combination pharmacotherapy had an 80% greater risk for an adverse effect compared to placebo and a 40% greater risk for an adverse effect compared to patients receiving monotherapy.  [Learn More] - posted 1/14/2019

New poll describes older adults’ experiences with opioid prescribing

The National Poll on Healthy Aging found that 1 in 4 older adults report filling an opioid prescription within the last 2 years. Yet only 59% report talking to their provider about when to reduce the amount of medication. Further, only 13% reporting disposing of the medication properly while 86% kept the medication in case they had pain again.  [Learn More] - posted 1/4/2019

Study finds that older adults receive high doses of opioids while hospitalized

A recent retrospective cohort study found that 1 in 5 older adults reported moderate to severe pain while hospitalized. 80.2% of those reporting pain as moderate to severe received opioids while hospitalized, of which 23.6% received “high” doses as designated by CDC guidelines. At discharge, 9.4% of participants with no history of chronic pain had a new prescription for an opioid.  [Learn More] - posted 12/26/2018

Barriers to pain management identified by Black older adults 

A recent mixed methods study with community dwelling Black older adults highlighted the need for improved pain management within this population. 86% of participants reported pain in daily life, but additionally reported concerns regarding pain management related to understanding side effects, fears about addiction, provider mistrust, and difficulties communicating with providers. Authors discuss the implications of these findings for nursing education, practice, and research.  [Learn More] - posted 12/18/2018

Breaking pain research from the 2018 Gerontological Society of America Conference 4

After analyzing the National Health and Aging Trends Study dataset researchers at the annual GSA conference argued for expanded access to hospice/palliative care programs after finding that an unmet need for pain management led to double the emergency department visits for persons with dementia in the last month of life.  [Learn More] - posted 12/10/2018

Breaking pain research from the 2018 Gerontological Society of America Conference 3

The Mobilization Observation Behavior Intensity Dementia (MOBID) pain scale has now been psychometrically tested in United States nursing homes. Previously developed and tested in Norway, the MOBID now indicates adequate reliability and validity for use in US nursing homes. However, researchers recommend further testing of the scale related to possible unnecessary items.  [Learn More] -  posted 12/3/2018

Breaking pain research from the 2018 Gerontological Society of America Conference 2

Little research has looked at the role of health care providers in older adult use of cannabis. New research found that only 10% of older adults using cannabis for pain management have received a recommendation for cannabis use from a provider. Patients using cannabis report their main education source on its use is from friends and family.  [Learn More] -  posted 11/27/2018

Breaking pain research from the 2018 Gerontological Society of America Conference 1

Older adults report that visiting with friends and family is their most valued leisure activity. Researchers from John Hopkins found that older adults with the symptom cluster of pain, mild insomnia, and moderate depression and anxiety are five times more likely to be restricted from visiting friend and family compared to those with no pain symptoms.  [Learn More] - posted 11/20/2018

Pain Severity Increases Risk of Memory Impairment 

New results from the National Institute on Aging funded Central Control of Mobility in Aging Study found that pain in older adults is not associated with the incidence of cognitive impairment. However, this 3-year longitudinal study with 441 eligible participants did find that older adults with high levels pain are at increased risk for developing a memory impairment. Pain had no effect on attention of executive function in older adults.  [Learn More] - posted 11/13/2018

Innovative Pain Assessment Methods: The Future? 

A new iPhone application for pain assessment in older adults with cognitive impairment recently underwent a qualitative feasibility assessment with UK paramedics. The paramedics reported a high need for pain assessment tools and education when caring for older adults with cognitive impairment. However, they reported concerns about integrating the use of technology in the paramedic setting. Authors conclude by discussing the need for innovative pain assessment methods for the pre-hospital setting and the importance of continued work in this area.  [Learn More]  - posted 11/5/2018

Fast Fact on Opioid Prescribing in Older Adults

A new FAST FACT published in the Journal of Palliative Medicine focuses on the safety considerations needed when prescribing opioids to older adults. This FAST FACT provides an important reminder of drug and dosing information for prescribing opioids to older adults. For example, avoiding drugs like meperidine and codeine. Authors also remind practitioners of the risks for adverse drug reactions in older adults compared to other adults related to the physiologic changes of aging, atypical presentation in older adults, increased risk for falls while taking opioids, and increased risk for delirium.  [Learn More] - posted 10/23/2018

Opioid-related Adverse Reactions Underreported

A recent pilot study by researchers at the University of Connecticut concluded that a significant number of older adults do not contact their primary care provider after experiencing an analgesic related adverse drug reaction (ADR). In this study with twenty-two older adults, eight participants having an opioid related ADR did not seek help within the healthcare system. Examples of reported opioid related ADRs included symptoms of confusion, constipation, and fatigue. The authors recommend enhanced patient education, thorough medication reconciliation, and reaching out to patient after prescription.  [Learn More] - posted 10/16/2018

Over-the-counter (OTC) Analgesics and the Implications for Patient Care

An Interdisciplinary Look at Labeling Changes to OTC Analgesics and the Implications for Patient Care published by the Gerontological Society of America in 2018. - posted 7/16/2018