Study: Facilities failing to give pain medication to many who need it

Share this content:

Less than half of nursing home residents with recurrent pain get any medication, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

An interdisciplinary team of researchers used a Nursing Home Pain Medication Appropriateness Scale (PMAS) to screen the overall suitability of nursing homes' prescribing practices. They found that the "mean" total PMAS was only 64% of optimal. They also determined that less than 50% of the residents studied who had "predictably recurrent pain" were actually receiving pain medication.

Still, they found that the prescribing of pain medication on the PMAS was better in situations where residents were not in recurrent pain. Poor pain management has a tendency to lower a person's overall quality of life and leads to other health consequences, including sleep deprivation, poor nutrition, depression and delayed healing.