Pain Treatment in Elderly Persons With and Without Dementia: A population-Based Study of Institutionalized and Home-Dwelling Elderly
2011 (English)In: Drugs & Aging, ISSN 1170-229X, Vol. 28, no 4, 283-293 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Background: Several previous studies have reported an undertreatment of pain in elderly persons with dementia. It has also been suggested that persons with dementia may be at risk for inappropriate treatment of pain with psychotropics.
Objectives: The objective of this study was to investigate if persons with dementia are as likely as persons without dementia to receive pharmacological pain treatment, after taking into account residential setting and pain-related disorders. We also aimed to investigate whether use of psychotropics is related to pain in persons with and without dementia.
Methods: We used baseline data from the SNAC-K (Swedish National Study of Aging and Care – Kungsholmen). We analysed use of analgesics and psychotropics, prevalence of pain-related diagnoses, self-reported pain, dementia status and residential setting in 2610 participants aged >65 years.
Results: Of the persons with dementia, 46% used at least one analgesic drug compared with 25% of those without dementia. Although persons with dementia reported pain less frequently than persons without dementia, the prevalence of pain-related diagnoses was similar. After adjustment for individual factors and residential setting (own home/institution), persons with dementia had a higher probability of use of paracetamol (acetaminophen) and psychotropics, whereas there were no significant differences in use of any analgesic, opioids and NSAIDs. Furthermore, having a pain-related diagnosis was associated with use of psychotropics in persons with dementia.
Conclusions: Persons with dementia had a higher probability of use of paracetamol and were about as likely as persons without dementia to use any analgesic, opioids and NSAIDs, after adjustment for confounders. This may reflect a recent increased awareness of pain and pain management in persons with dementia, compared with previous studies that have reported an underuse of analgesics in persons with dementia. However, further research is needed to analyse if persons with dementia are appropriately treated for pain with regard to type of analgesic drug, pain intensity, indication, dosage and regimen.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 28, no 4, 283-293 p.
Analgesics, therapeutic use, Dementia, Elderly, Pain, treatment
Gerontology, specializing in Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-66643DOI: 10.2165/11587040-000000000-00000ISI: 000290290400004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-66643DiVA: diva2:468365
authorCount :52011-12-202011-12-202013-01-04Bibliographically approved