Assessing Pain in Older Adults

Recently Nursing2017 published a 2 part series on pain assessment for older adults.

Assessing pain in nonverbal older adults by Booker and Haedtke (May 2016) addressed the challenge of non-verbal older adults with pain. They emphasized the importance of looking at behaviors for signs of pain.

Assessing pain in verbal older adults by the same authors (February, 2016) discussed important criteria when asking an older adult about pain, such as “use of their terminology”. In my experience older adults use words like “hurts” or “sore” rather than “pain”. Also, they may be challenged to rate their pain.

Both articles are excellent to read. Access the articles through a healthcare/school library OR via subscription to Nursing2017.

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Associate Professor of Nursing, Ohlone College

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