Skip to content

Nurses' perceptions of pain assessment and treatment in the cognitively impaired elderly. It's not a guessing game.

by C R Kovach, J Griffie, S Muchka, P E Noonan, D E Weissman
Clinical nurse specialist CNS ()


The purpose of the study was to describe nurses' perceptions regarding the assessment and treatment of pain in patients with late-stage dementia. Thirty nurses from six long-term care facilities were interviewed using a semistructured format for this qualitative study. Initial results were presented to a second group for validation and refinement of findings. The most commonly cited behaviors used to indicate discomfort were facial grimacing, restless body movement, change in behavior, moaning, and tense muscles. Psychotropic drugs were perceived to be commonly misused because behavior changes were seen as a psychiatric problem rather than a representation of the patient's unmet need. Nurses had positive feelings about using both narcotics and nonnarcotic analgesics with this population but believed both types of analgesics were underused. The most common concerns regarding the administration of narcotic analgesics to this population were falls, sedation, and constipation.

Cite this document (BETA)

Readership Statistics

19 Readers on Mendeley
by Discipline
37% Psychology
21% Medicine and Dentistry
16% Social Sciences
by Academic Status
42% Student > Master
11% Student > Bachelor
11% Student > Postgraduate
by Country
5% Spain
5% Austria

Sign up today - FREE

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research. Learn more

  • All your research in one place
  • Add and import papers easily
  • Access it anywhere, anytime

Start using Mendeley in seconds!

Sign up & Download

Already have an account? Sign in