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Assessing and Treating Pain in the Cognitively Impaired. R. Sean Morrison, MD Hermann Merkin Professor of Palliative Care Professor, Geriatrics and Medicine Department of Geriatrics & Adult Development Mount Sinai School of Medicine New York, NY. Acknowledgements. Mary Ersek, PhD, RN

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slide1

Assessing and Treating Pain in the Cognitively Impaired

  • R. Sean Morrison, MD
  • Hermann Merkin Professor of Palliative Care
  • Professor, Geriatrics and Medicine
  • Department of Geriatrics & Adult Development
  • Mount Sinai School of Medicine
  • New York, NY
acknowledgements
Acknowledgements
  • Mary Ersek, PhD, RN
  • Swedish Medical Center, Seattle, Washington.
  • mary.ersek@swedish.org
acknowledgements3

Geriatric Curriculum

E

L

N

E

C

End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium

  • “To provide nurses at all levels of preparation the knowledge to provide competent, compassionate palliative care to patients in a variety of clinical settings”
    • ELNEC-Geriatrics: focused on licensed nursing staff & CNAs working in long-term care settings
    • Next ELNEC-Geriatric training: Pasadena, CA, September 12—14, 2007
  • For more information: http://www.aacn.nche.edu/ELNEC/
Acknowledgements
definitions of pain
Definitions of Pain
  • “An unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage” IASP, 1979
  • “Pain is whatever the person says it is…” McCaffery & Pasero, 1999
pain in older adults
Pain in Older Adults
  • 25 – 56% community-dwelling eldersHelme & Gibson, 2001
  • 45 – 85% nursing home residentsAGS, 2002
  • 1/3 cancer pts receiving treatment and 2/3 with advanced cancer
  • APS, 2003
  • 50% of hospitalized pts in last 3 days of life SUPPORT, 1995
acute and chronic pain
Acute and Chronic Pain
  • ACUTE
  • Sudden onset, in response to illness or injury
  • Usually decreases over time as healing occurs; self-limiting
  • Goal: eliminate pain by treating cause
  • Physical signs: “fight or flight”
  • Behavioral signs
  • CHRONIC (PERSISTENT)
  • Insidious onset, or follows acute
  • Lasts beyond expected healing period or associated with a chronic condition
  • Goal: maintain function & quality of life
  • Behavioral signs
major categories of pain
Nociceptive

Sources: organs, bone, joint, muscle, skin, connective tissue

Examples: arthritis, tumors, gall stones

Character: dull, aching, pressure, tender

Responds to traditional pain medicines & therapies

Neuropathic

Source: peripheral nerve or CNS pathology

Examples: postherpetic neuralgia, diabetic neuropathy

Character: shooting, burning, stabbing

Requires different types of medications than nociceptive pain

Major Categories of Pain
most common types of persistent pain in older adults
Most Common Types of Persistent Pain in Older Adults
  • Musculoskeletal (e.g., low back pain, osteoarthritis)
  • Neuropathies (e.g., diabetic neuropathy, post-herpetic neuralgia)
  • Cancer
  • AGS, 2002
nonverbal residents
Nonverbal residents
  • Advanced dementia
  • Progressive neurological disease
  • Post CVA
  • Imminently dying
  • Developmentally disabled
  • Delirium
is pain processed and perceived differently by people with dementia
Is pain processed and perceived differently by people with dementia?
  • Tolerance to acute pain possibly increases but pain threshold does not appear to change(Benedetti et al, 1999;2004)
  • Dementia may blunt autonomic nervous system’s response to acute pain(Rainero et al, 2000)
  • Cognitive impairment may↓ perceived analgesic effectiveness(Benedetti et al, 2006)
can residents with cognitive impairment ci give reliable pain reports
Can Residents with Cognitive Impairment (CI) Give Reliable Pain Reports?
  • CI residents slightly underreport pain, but their reports are valid (Parmelee et al., 1993)
  • 83% of residents with mild to moderate CI could reliably complete at least one pain scale (Ferrell et al., 1995)
  • 73% of post-op patients with moderate CI were able to complete a 4-point verbal descriptor scale (Feldt et al., 1998)
cognitive impairment pain management nursing homes
Cognitive Impairment & Pain Management: Nursing Homes
  • Pain is documented less frequently for CI residents, even with similar numbers of painful diagnoses as less impaired residents (Sengstaken & King, 1993)
  • Less analgesic is prescribed/administered for CI residents, despite similar numbers of painful diagnoses (Horgas & Tsai, 1998)
  • Approximately ¼ of demented residents who were identified as having pain were receiving any analgesic therapy (Scherder et al, 1999; Bernabei et al, 1998; Won et al, 1999)
outcomes of unrelieved pain
Outcomes of Unrelieved Pain
  • Unnecessary suffering
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Impaired ambulation, gait disturbance
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Decreased socialization
  • Increased healthcare utilization
  • Increased agitation and resistance to care
  • Impaired cognition
pain and delirium
Pain and Delirium
  • Risk factors for delirium among older adults hospitalized with hip fracture
    • Cognitive impairment (RR: 3.6; 95% CI 1.6—7.2)
    • Received < 10 mg parenteral MS equivalents (RR: 5.4; 95% CI 2.4—12.3)
  • In cognitively intact patients, severe pain was associated with 9 times the risk of delirium

—Morrison et al, 2003

slide16

Conceptual Model for Pain Assessment in Non-communicative Persons with Dementia

Snow et al, 2004

aspmn position statement guideline
ASPMN Position Statement/Guideline
  • All persons deserve prompt recognition and treatment of pain even when they cannot express their pain verbally
  • Establish a pain assessment procedure
  • Use Hierarchy of Pain Assessment Techniques
  • “Assume pain is present”
  • Use empirical trials
  • Re-assess and document
  • www.aspmn.org/Organization/position_papers.htm
hierarchy of data sources
Hierarchy of Data Sources
  • Resident report (if possible)
  • Prior pain history
  • Painful diagnoses
  • Behavioral indicators
  • Observer assessment
  • Response to empirical therapy
slide20
Focus on present pain
  • Find a scale that works and use it consistently
  • Use verbal reports and observations
  • Assess reliability by asking about pain at different time (when pain is expected to be more severe, e.g., during movement)
painful diagnoses
Painful Diagnoses
  • Degenerative Joint Disease
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Osteoporosis/Compression Fractures
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Herpes Zoster
  • Pressure Ulcers/wounds
causes of physical pain in residents with dementia
Causes of Physical Pain in Residents with Dementia
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Lodged food particles
  • Contractures
  • Pressure ulcers
  • UTI

Volicer & Hurley, 1999

behavioral observational cues
Behavioral/Observational Cues
  • Grimacing or wincing
  • Bracing
  • Guarding
  • Rubbing
  • Changes in activity level
  • Sleeplessness, restlessness
  • Resistance to movement
  • Withdrawal/apathy
  • Increased agitation, anger, etc.
  • Decreased appetite
  • Vocalizations
pain behavior assessment tools
Pain Behavior Assessment Tools
  • Checklist for Nonverbal Pain Indicators (CNPI)(Feldt, 2000)
  • NOPAIN(Snow et al, 2004)
  • PAIN-AD (Warden et al, 2003)
  • Pain Assessment Scale for Seniors with Severe Dementia (PACSLAC)(Fuchs-Lacelle & Hadjistavropoulos, 2004)
  • Also see: Herr, Decker, & Bjoro (2004). State of the Art Review of Tools for Assessment of Pain in Nonverbal Older Adults.
  • Available at: http://www.cityofhope.org/prc/elderly.asp
pain behavior assessment tools25
Pain Behavior Assessment Tools
  • Checklist for Nonverbal Pain Indicators (CNPI)…Feldt, 2000
  • NOPAIN…Snow et al, 2003
  • PAIN-AD… Warden et al, 2004
  • Pain Assessment Scale for Seniors with Severe Dementia (PACSLAC)…Fuchs-Lacelle & Hadjistavropoulos, 2004
  • State of the Art Review of Tools for Assessment of Pain in Nonverbal Older Adults
    • Available at: http://www.cityofhope.org/prc/elderly.asp
agitation
Agitation
  • Pittsburgh Agitation Scale – Resident Case Manager Assessment
  • Evaluates: aberrant vocalization, motor agitation, aggressiveness, resistance to care
  • 0–16 with higher scores indicating greater agitation
minimize reliance on physical signs
Minimize reliance on physical signs
  • ANS stimulation: ↑ BP, ↑ HR, ↑RR, diaphoresis
  • Blunted in elderly, esp. cognitively impaired
  • Only valid for acute pain
empirical trials in nonverbal residents
Empirical Trials in Nonverbal residents

Try pain medicine

Behaviors suggest it

could be pain

Behaviors decrease

It’s probably pain!

comfort needs
Comfort Needs
  • Glasses? Dentures? Hearing aid?
  • Environmental stressors?
  • Toileting?
  • Lonely? Fearful?
  • Over-stimulated?
acute or new pain
Acute or New Pain
  • Fall?
  • Infection?
  • Impaction?
  • ???
evidence for attempting empirical analgesic trial
Evidence for attempting empirical analgesic trial
  • Regular analgesic therapy increased social engagement in NH residents (Chibnall et al, 2005)
  • Use of standardized assessment and treatment protocol significantly decreased discomfort among demented NH residents (Kovach et al, 1999)
  • Evaluation of 650 mg TID APAP: 63% decrease in negative behaviors, 75% psychotropics discontinued (Douzjian et al, 1998)
administer analgesic
Administer Analgesic
  • 650 – 1000 mg acetaminophen every 4 hours
  • 2.5 hydrocodone/500 APAP or 2.5—5.0 oxycodone every 4 hours
  • Include nondrug measures
slide37

Communication and documentation is critical in successful assessment and treatment of pain in nonverbal residents