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Journal article

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

CR K, Griffie J, Muchka S, PE N, DE W ...see all

Clinical Nurse Specialist: The Journal for Advanced Nursing Practice, vol. 14, issue 5 (2000) pp. 215-220 Published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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Abstract

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.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analgesics -- Therapeutic Use -- In Old Age
  • Behavioral Changes -- In Old Age
  • Dementia -- Complications -- In Old Age
  • Funding Source
  • Gerontologic Nursing
  • Human
  • Middle Age
  • Narcotics -- Therapeutic Use -- In Old Age
  • Nursing Assessment
  • Nursing Home Patients
  • Pain -- Drug Therapy -- In Old Age
  • Pain -- Nursing
  • Pain Measurement -- In Old Age
  • Practical Nurses
  • Purposive Sample
  • Qualitative Studies
  • Registered Nurses
  • Semi-Structured Interview
  • Staff Nurses
  • Summated Rating Scaling
  • Symptoms -- In Old Age

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Authors

  • Kovach CR

  • J Griffie

  • S Muchka

  • Noonan PE

  • Weissman DE

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