Pain Management in Cognitively Impaired Older Adults

Int J Nurs Health Care Res (Lisle). 2024;7(3):1528. doi: 10.29011/2688-9501.101528. Epub 2024 Apr 9.


Background: Pain identification and management in cognitively impaired older adults, especially those with major neurocognitive disorder, are challenging because of communication barriers and health care providers who are unaccustomed to the patient's baseline behavioral and psychological conditions.

Management considerations: Appropriately distinguishing pain-associated behaviors separate from dementia, utilizing effective assessment tools, and administering proper interventions and medications to treat pain promptly for this population need to be considered.

Conclusions: Nurses play critical roles in implementing various evidence-based assessment tools to assess pain and choosing appropriate pain management interventions by training and supporting other nurses to use these assessment tools and develop their critical assessment skills to quickly identify pain and evaluate pain management interventions.