Identifying, tracking, and managing pain in LTC
Attitude to Health
Little is known about the effect of structured interventions for pain assessment and management in LTC. Pain is challenging to measure in this setting because of its subjective and variable nature, the inability of many residents to articulate pain, and the need for repeat measures to assess changes and treatment response. The Minimum Data Set (MDS) 2.0 includes three pain items that have relatively good reliability and validity among cognitively intact patients, but not among those with cognitive impairments or trouble communicating. MDS 3.0, to be implemented in October 2010, includes a more extensive pain assessment interview using either self-report or observation. This article suggests some ways in which LTC settings can better identify, track, and manage pain.