In older adults with chronic non-cancer pain, short-term use of opioids reduces pain and physical disability but does not benefit mental health, and 25% discontinue due to adverse effects
- Department of Nursing, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK
- Correspondence to Carol Haigh
Department of Nursing, Manchester Metropolitan University, Elizabeth Gaskell Building, Hathersage Road, Manchester M13 0JA, UK;
Implications for nursing practice
■ Nurses are often hesitant to recommend opiate use for non-cancer pain.
■ People aged 65 and above are as likely to benefit from opioids as younger people.
■ In older people with no significant comorbidity, short-term use of opioids reduces pain and improves physical functioning.
■ 25% of patients stop using opioids because of adverse events, including constipation.
Implications for nursing research
■ Long-term safety, efficacy and abuse potential in older persons are yet to be determined.
■ Older age is associated with a lower likelihood of abuse and misuse of opioids.
There have been a number of previously published systematic reviews on short-term outcomes associated with opioid treatment …