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A Journal on Internal Medicine

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Minerva Medica 2006 April;97(2):205-15

language: Italian

The problem of the chronic recurrent pain among older in-patients

Lissolo S., Cavallo E., Ronchetto F.

S. C. di Geriatria, ASL 9 Ivrea Presidio Ospedaliero di Cuorgnè Cuorgnè (Torino)


Epidemiological data of pain prevalence, with particular attention to hospitalised subjects, are described as well as the problems of pain detection, its evaluation and management in older patients. The authors underline that chronic pain is the most frequent type of pain in advanced age, and it is often unrecognized and undertreated. Advanced age is not a sufficient reason to exclude an analgesic treatment which could improve the quality of life of these subjects. Elderly persons are at increased risk for adverse drug reactions, on the other hand, there is evidence that an appropriate use of analgesic drugs can provide significant relief and result in functional restoration, with a low risk of serious adverse effects. In the medical literature there are strategies and guidelines ad hoc. In Italy, since 2001 there is a plan drawn up by the Department of Health containing indications to fight against pain in hospital, but the adhesion of a number of hospitals to this plan seems to be not optimal

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