Cancer pain management at home (II) : does age influence attitudes towards pain and analgesia?

Closs, S. José and Chatwin, J. and Bennett, Michael I. (2009) Cancer pain management at home (II) : does age influence attitudes towards pain and analgesia? Supportive Care in Cancer, 17 (7). pp. 781-786. ISSN 0941-4355

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Goals of work Older patients experience a higher prevalence of pain, including cancer pain, than other age groups and tend to receive poorer pain management. The reasons for unnecessary suffering resulting from pain among older patients are not well understood. This study aimed to identify barriers to cancer pain management for older patients living at home and to compare these with a younger control group. Patients and methods Patients newly referred to community-based palliative care services were interviewed about their pain and related issues. Data included pain impact (BPI), mood (HAD), health (EuroQol), and barriers to reporting of pain and analgesic use (Barriers Questionnaire). Main results Fifty-eight patients aged 75 or over and 32 people aged 60 or under were interviewed. Both groups reported that beliefs about the use of analgesics was the greatest barrier to effective pain management. Older patients reported that beliefs about the use of analgesics and communicating with medical staff were significantly more important barriers to pain management than for younger patients. Overall, factors such as communication with medical staff and fatalism were ranked lower than barriers related to medication. Younger patients reported significantly greater sleep disturbance due to pain and greater anxiety. Conclusions Older age appears to influence attitudes towards pain and analgesia. Factors such as poorer knowledge about taking analgesia, reluctance to communicate with medical staff, poorer performance status, and being more likely to live alone suggest that older patients may require greater support in the management of their cancer pain than younger patients. Targeted interventions are needed to test this proposition.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Supportive Care in Cancer
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? oncologyr medicine (general) ??
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Deposited On:
11 Mar 2010 11:17
Last Modified:
28 Nov 2023 11:08