Pain assessment and management in cognitively impaired nursing home residents: Association of certified nursing assistant pain report, minimum data set pain report, and analgesic medication use

Susan E. Fisher, Louis D. Burgio, Beverly E. Thorn, Rebecca Allen-Burge, John Gerstle, David L. Roth, Scott J. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The primary purpose of this preliminary study was to investigate the associations between certified nursing assistant (CNA) report of pain, Minimum Data Set (MDS) report of pain, and analgesic medication use in cognitively impaired nursing home residents. DESIGN: Correlational study. SETTING: Three nursing homes in the greater Birmingham, Alabama area. PARTICIPANTS: Fifty-seven cognitively impaired nursing home residents with a mean Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score of 11.1. MEASUREMENTS: Pain was assessed using a three-item proxy pain questionnaire (PPQ), developed by the researchers and administered to the residents' primary CNA. MDS and analgesic medication data corresponding with the time of PPQ data collection were gathered from medical records. Cognitive status was measured with the MMSE. RESULTS: The PPQ elicited substantially higher estimates of pain prevalence than the MDS (48% versus 20%), and the PPQ and the MDS were not well correlated (pain frequency: r = .19, P = .18; pain intensity: r = .22, P = .11). The PPQ was also more strongly associated with analgesic medication use than the MDS. Cognitive status was significantly associated with pain report on the PPQ but not on the MDS. Test-retest reliability coefficients for the three items of the PPQ were excellent, ranging from .84 to .87 (P ≤: .01). CONCLUSIONS: The CNA-generated PPQ was a more sensitive measure of pain than the MDS for this sample. Although the MDS represents an important step toward systematic and standardized assessment of pain, more emphasis should be placed on multimodal assessment, including CNAs' perceptions and observations about pain experienced by cognitively impaired nursing home residents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)152-156
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Volume50
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Dementia
  • MDS
  • Pain assessment
  • Pain management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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