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Cross-sectional study
Assessment and treatment of persistent pain in nursing home residents should be implemented systematically to prevent suffering
  1. Bettina S Husebo1,2
  1. 1 Universitetet i Bergen—Global Public Health and Primary Care, Bergen, Norway;
  2. 2 Municipality of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
  1. Correspondence to : Professor Bettina S Husebo, Universitetet i Bergen, Kalfarveien 31, Bergen 5020, Norway; bettina.husebo{at}

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Implications for practice and research

  • Assessment and treatment of pain has to be implemented systematically to avoid suffering in nursing home residents and low prioritised user groups.

  • Pharmacological and non-pharmacological pain interventions have to be tested in controlled trials, and studies should include people with dementia.


Undiagnosed and untreated persistent pain, often related to musculoskeletal diseases, complex comorbidities or injuries, is common in older adults.1 This has substantial consequences for the person experiencing the pain and leads to reduced physical and cognitive function. Pain is a critical factor for underlying neuropsychiatric symptoms such as agitation, depression and sleep disturbances, and these frequently …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.