Pain Assessment

Definition: The process of gathering information on the pain including the onset, duration, frequency, location, intensity, pattern, and quality of the pain. 

Comment/Importance to Caregiving:

  • The caregiver is often in the best position to provide the most accurate information for a Pain Assessment to guide the healthcare team in the development and ongoing

Pain Diary

Definition: A communication tool used to share information about the daily pain experience with the healthcare team

Comment/Importance to Caregiving:

  • The caregiver can use a Pain Dairy to document the daily pain experience of their loved one to monitor the effectiveness of the current pain treatment plan to share with the healthcare team

Pain Scale

Definition: A tool used to evaluate an individual’s pain intensity or behavior.

Comment/Importance to Caregiving:

  • For individuals who are able to self-report a pain scale that uses a numeric rating scale (such as 1-10) or a verbal descriptor scale (such as mild, moderate or severe) may be appropriate (see FAST FACTS-When to use Pain Assessment Tools).
  • For Individuals who are NOT able to self-report there are specific Pain Scales that look at behaviors that may indicate pain (If your loved one does not have the ability to self-report, ask your healthcare provider about the appropriate tool to use). 

Pain Specialist

Definition: A clinician who has received advanced training in pain management.

Comment/Importance to Caregiving:

  • If you find that your loved ones’ regular provider can't help, ask him or her for the name of a pain medicine specialist. A pain specialist may be a doctor, nurse, or anesthesiologist.

References:

https://www.cdc.gov/opioids/; Accessed 1/16/2019

Definitions Related to the Use of Opioids for the Treatment of Pain: a consensus document from the American Academy of Pain Medicine the American Pain Society, and the American Society of Addiction Medicine, 2009. 

Public Policy Statement on the Rights and Responsibilities of Healthcare Professionals in the use of Opioids for the Treatment of Pain. A consensus document from the American Academy of Pain Medicine, the American Pain Society, and the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

Promoting Pain Relief and Preventing Abuse of Pain Medications: A Critical Balancing Act, a Joint Statement. From 21 Health Organizations and the Drug Enforcement Administration, 2001. Available at:  http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/pubs/advisories/painrelief.pdf  Accessed December 1, 2016.

Fine, PG, Portenoy, RK: A Clinical Guide to Opioid Analgesia, New York: McGraw Hill, 2007.

Reuben, D., Herr, K., Pacala, J., Pollock, B., Potter, J. & Semla, T. (2018). Geriatrics At Your Fingertips, 20th Ed. New York, NY: American Geriatrics Society (pp 247-268).