Pain management in residential aged care facilities

Aust Fam Physician. 2015 Apr;44(4):198-203.


Background: Persistent pain is prevalent in aged care facilities and there are a number of barriers that make effective pain management more difficult to achieve in this setting.

Objective: The aim of this article is to provide an evidence-based approach to assessment and management of pain experienced by residents of aged care facilities.

Discussion: Barriers to effective pain management in residential aged care facilities include patient beliefs and attitudes towards pain, communication deficits and cognitive impairment, frailty and its effect on pharmacotherapy, and limited evidence of comprehensive pain management strategies for people with dementia. Education programs, developments in observational behaviour scales and stepwise pain management protocols have enabled good progress to be made in addressing these obstacles and improving patient outcomes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Homes for the Aged*
  • Humans
  • Pain / epidemiology*
  • Pain / prevention & control
  • Pain Management / methods*
  • Prevalence
  • Quality Improvement*