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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 …
Competing interests None.