Assessing pain and pain relief in geriatric patients with non-pathological fractures with different rating scales.
Journal article, 2001
Although pain is a frequent problem among elderly patients, they are often omitted in clinical trials and few studies have focused on assessing pain relief in this population. The aim of this study was to compare geriatric patients' verbally reported effect of analgesics with changes in pain experience rated with four different rating scales: the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), the Graphic Rating Scale (GRS), the Numeric Rating Scale (NRS), and the Pain Relief Scale (PRS). Altogether 53 geriatric patients (mean=82 yrs) with non-pathological fractures in 4 geriatric units at a large university hospital were selected. In connection with the administration of analgesics, the patients were asked to "Mark the point that corresponds to your experience of pain just now at rest" on the VAS, GRS and NRS. This was repeated after 1.5-2 hours, and a direct question was asked about whether the analgesic medication given in connection with the initial assessment had had any pain-alleviation effect. Two comparisons were conducted with each patient. The results show that the probability of accomplishing a rating on the VAS, GRS, NRS, and PRS was lower with advancing age in these elderly fracture patients. The correlations between the ratings of the VAS, GRS and NRS were strong and significant (r=0.80-0.95; p<0.001) both at the initial assessments and at the re-assessments. However, the verbally reported effects of the analgesics were often directly opposite to the changes in rated pain. Therefore, application of the VAS, NRS, GRS and PRS for the purpose of assessing pain relief must be combined with supplementary questions that allow the patient to verbally describe possible experience of pain relief.
80 and over
administration & dosage