A key aspect of chronic pain management in the older adult Is pharmacologic. Although not every elderly person has a chronic condition that leads to pain, these illnesses are more frequent in the later years as a consequence of the aging process. An understanding of physiologic changes and suggested pharmacologic interventions for dealing with issues related to chronic pain is essential. The psychosocial, cultural, and cost variables surrounding pain management of the older adult are also important to consider. A brief review of pain types and terminology precedes discussion of the key principles of pain management for the older adult. These principles are based on the guidelines published and distributed by the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research and the American Pain Society and are presented with a clinical focus aimed at improving clinician practice patterns related to pain management In the older adult. Concise, user-friendly medication Information Is presented to supplement the current knowledge base of practicing clinicians who prescribe analgesics and adjuvant medications for their patients with pain.
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