Nonpharmacological interventions for persistent, noncancer pain in elders residing in long-term care facilities: An integrative review of the literature

Nurs Forum. 2018 Oct;53(4):538-548. doi: 10.1111/nuf.12284. Epub 2018 Sep 22.


Elders residing in long-term care facilities experience ongoing moderate to severe pain, relief from and increased comfort remain relevant healthcare concerns. However, persistent, noncancer pain may not have been properly addressed due to insufficient attention to research that exists to support the utilization and efficacy of nonpharmacological intervention(s) for elders in long-term care facilities. Our aim of this integrated review was to evaluate the current state of the science on nonpharmacological intervention(s) for pain that are currently utilized in elders who reside in long-term care facilities. Exercise, massage, heat therapy, and relaxation/rest were identified as significant nonpharmacological interventions for persistent pain in elder residents living in long-term care facilities.

Keywords: comfort; elder resident; gerontological; holistic health; long-term care; long-term care facility; noncancer pain; nonpharmacological intervention; persistent.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chronic Pain / etiology
  • Chronic Pain / nursing*
  • Female
  • Geriatrics / methods
  • Humans
  • Long-Term Care / methods*
  • Long-Term Care / standards
  • Male
  • Pain Management / methods
  • Pain Management / nursing*