age impact expectations chronic pain

Age impact expectations when it comes to chronic pain. The National Institutes of Health reports that 50 percent of all older adults, those over 65, live on their own and 75-85%  live in care facilities have chronic pain (1). Defined as having pain every day for at least three months, it’s a problem that millions of elderly people experience.  After knowing their expectations and concerns regarding the chronic pain can go a long way toward preparing management plans and helping caring them.

In the March 2017 issue of the journal Pain Practice, researchers shared their findings from conducting a study of 100 patients visited in pain clinic for their first visit (2).  Researchers divided the patients visited the clinic into two categories.  Being under the age of 65 and over 65.  All 100 patients given a questionnaire to fill out.  They shared what were their expectations and concerns .  The results were then compiled and analyzed.

 To see if does age impact expectations regarding chronic pain.

Among 100 patients assessed, 39% over 65 of age and patients across all ages, were dealing with lumbar spine pain.  Therefore, after analyzing the concerns of each age group, they found that the concerns did differ.  Hence,  it’s important for those working with each age population to be aware of and take into consideration. Those age over 65 were concerned about being able to sleep and be mobile.  On the other hand, many had no expectations at all. Those age under 65 were concerned with employment and social participation and expectations including education in the source of pain.

The most common expectation across both age groups was to be pain free.

Similarly, the American Psychologist reports that many older adults tend to perceive pain. As well as,  disability as something normal and expected with age (3). They found that 87% of  respondents felt having more aches and pains was expected as one aged. This creates a concern, because many may avoid getting appropriate care or match treatment plans.  Obviously, they feel their pain is to be expected with advanced age.

Those working with patients having chronic pain may take this information into consideration when creating their management plan. Then, this information can help to better adapt management plans, and find options that the patient will agree.

1. National Institutes of Health. Seniors and chronic pain.
2. Pain Practice. Does age impact on expectations and concerns…?
3. American Psychologist. Overview of persistent pain in older adults.