Evid Based Nurs 16:123-124 doi:10.1136/eb-2012-101159
  • Care of older people
  • Qualitative study—other

Pain assessment and management in older hospitalised patients: observation shows common themes relating to nurse–patient communication, pain management strategies, organisational aspects of care and the complex nature of pain

  1. Pat Schofield
  1. School of Health and Social Care, University of Greenwich, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to : Professor Pat Schofield
    School of Health and Social Care, University of Greenwich, Avery Hill Campus, Eltham, London SE9 2UG, UK; P.A.Schofield{at}

Commentary on

Implications for practice and research

  • Staff need more education around identification of pain and options for management among the older population.

  • Pain assessment methods should be brief and simple, followed by an algorithm for management.

  • The need to explore organisational barriers which inhibit effective management and to develop more creative ways of overcoming such barriers.

  • The need to evaluate treatment pathways.


This study was conducted within two geriatric units in a public teaching hospital in Australia. The authors identify the need to explore pain assessment and management, a complex phenomenon that makes up the decision-making process and includes environment, communication and other previously unexplored …

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