Difficulties in communication and lack of suitable pain scales may lead to undertreatment of pain in cognitively impaired patients. We performed a study in this type of patients and evaluated the usefulness of four simple pain scales.
We studied 41 hospitalized elderly (76-95 years) who suffered from pain with an acute component. Cognitive function was assessed with the mini-mental state examination (MMSE) and the degree of depression was assessed on the geriatric depression scale (GDS). Pain intensity was assessed at rest and after a pain-provoking movement three times at 2-week intervals by repeating the test at a 10-min interval at each test session. The pain scales were the 50 cm red wedge scale (RWS), the seven-point faces pain scale (FPS), the 10 cm visual analogue scale (VAS) and the five-point verbal rating scale (VRS).
In group MMSE> or =24, patients were able to use all four scales rather successfully. In the other groups (MMSE 17-23, 11-16 and < or =10), only the use of VRS was successful to a reasonable degree (64-85% on average). GDS scores did not correlate with the pain scores, with the exception of pain scores on FPS during movement (P<0.01). The estimations of intensity and frequency of pain performed by nurses failed to correlate with the patient's own pain intensity estimations.
Scoring of pain with RWS, FPS and VAS seems to be feasible in elderly patients with a normal cognitive dysfunction. In our study VRS appeared to be applicable in the elderly with a clear cognitive dysfunction, i.e., with MMSE<17.
Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica 05/2009; 53(5):657-64. DOI:10.1111/j.1399-6576.2009.01942.x · 2.31 Impact Factor
European journal of pain (London, England) 06/2007; 11(1):90-90. DOI:10.1016/j.ejpain.2007.03.221 · 3.22 Impact Factor
To evaluate the effect of medical record use on figures for the incidence of dementia and the effect of apolipoprotein E (APOE) polymorphism on this incidence and neuropathologically defined Alzheimer's disease (AD) in very elderly individuals.
Cognitive functions were examined in a cohort of 328 (92% of the very elderly people of a town participated in this study) nondemented Finnish elderly individuals 85 years of age or more in 1991. The examination was repeated in survivors in 1994, 1996, 1999 and 2001. Medical notes and social work records were evaluated. All these individuals were genotyped for APOE. Neuropathological analysis of AD-type pathology was performed on 159 of 303 subjects who died during the follow-up.
Age group, gender or APOE did not significantly affect the incidence of dementia, which was over 20% higher (85 vs. 69 per 1,000 person-years) if the cognitive status at death was ascertained by medical and social work records than without this evaluation. The APOE upsilon4 allele was highly significantly (p=0.002) and age almost significantly (p=0.06) associated with neuropathological AD in nondemented individuals.
Medical records should be analyzed in studies on the incidence of dementia in very elderly individuals. APOE polymorphism does not affect the incidence of dementia in this age group. However, clinical dementia diagnosis in very elderly individuals does not necessarily correlate well with the presence of neuropathological AD which, even in this age group, is significantly associated with the APOE upsilon4 allele.
Neuroepidemiology 02/2006; 26(2):76-82. DOI:10.1159/000090252 · 2.48 Impact Factor
Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine 09/2005; 30(5):90-90. DOI:10.1016/j.rapm.2005.07.090 · 2.12 Impact Factor