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Expectations, Concerns Vary With Age for Adults at Pain Clinic

WEDNESDAY, April 12, 2017 -- Patient expectations and concerns vary by age among adults attending a chronic pain clinic, according to a study published online March 30 in Pain Practice.

Margaret McLoughlin, B.M.B.S., from the University of Limerick in Ireland, and colleagues conducted a prospective examination of the expectations and concerns of 100 adult patients at their first visit to a pain clinic. Expectations and concerns were reported using a self-completed questionnaire and compared for those aged ≤65 years and >65 years.

The researchers found that the lumbar spine was the most frequently reported site of pain for all patients, regardless of age. For all patients, common concerns were related to sleep and mobility, and the most common expectation was related to analgesia. Younger patients were more concerned than older patients about employment (23 versus 3 percent) and social participation (21 versus 5 percent); compared with younger patients, older patients were more concerned about mobility (46 versus 15 percent). More younger than older patients expected education relating to the source of pain (23 versus 3 percent). The likelihood of being unsure or having no expectations was higher for older patients (26 versus 3 percent).

"We found differences in patient expectations and concerns by age of those attending a chronic pain clinic," the authors write. "These differences can inform the communication process between physician and patient on treatment plans and outcomes."

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Posted: April 2017