Non malignant daily pain and risk of disability among older adults in home care in Europe

Department of Gerontology, Catholic University of Sacred Heart, Roma, Italy.
Pain (Impact Factor: 5.21). 07/2007; 129(3):304-10. DOI: 10.1016/j.pain.2006.10.016
Source: PubMed


Aim of the present observational study was to evaluate the association between daily pain and incident disability in elderly subjects living in the community. We used data from the AgeD in HOme Care (AD-HOC) project, a 1 year longitudinal study enrolling subjects aged 65 or older receiving home care in 11 European countries. Daily pain was defined as any type of pain or discomfort in any part of the body manifested every day in the seven days before the baseline assessment. Disability performing activities of daily living (ADLs) was defined as the need of assistance in 1 or more of the following ADL: eating, dressing, transferring, mobility in bed, personal hygiene and toileting. Mean age of 1520 subjects participating the study was 82.1 (standard deviation 6.9) years, and 1178 (77.5%) were women and 695 (45.7%) reported daily pain at the baseline assessment. Overall, 123/825 participants (19.0%) with daily pain and 132/695 (14.9%) without daily pain reported incident disability during the 1 year follow up of the study. After adjustment for potential confounders, participants with daily pain had a significantly higher risk of developing disability, compared with other participants (hazard ratio 1.36; 95% CI: 1.05-1.78). The risk of disability increased with pain severity and with number of painful sites. In conclusion among old subjects living in the community, daily pain is associated with an increased risk of disability.

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