New recommendations to help healthcare professionals recognise and assess levels of pain in older people were published this week in the scientific journal Age and Ageing. The guidelines were developed by the British Geriatrics Society, the British Pain Society, the Royal College of Nursing, in collaboration with researchers at Teesside University, Anglia Ruskin University, University of Bournemouth, Centre for Ageing Better, and the Centre for Positive Ageing. So with all that collaboration, they ought to be good.
When you look at what they are called that view doesn’t change. “The Assessment of Pain in Older People: UK National Guidelines” so I guess they are serious about the need to use them, so they have also made them freely available on the page, not as a download. So time to get reading but be warned they are 70 plus pages long.
It’s worth remembering what Professor Patricia Schofield, the lead contributor to the paper, said on its release
‘Pain in the older population has been largely neglected with the assumption made that it is expected as you get older. This document sets out guidelines for the fundamental first step in the process, which is how we identify and measure pain in this population. Hopefully health and social care professionals will take on board the recommendations and we can move towards more effective pain management in the future.’
This little video gives you a few reasons for getting familiar with the guidance and more to think about.