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Chronic pain in the elderly: Outcome results of a multidisciplinary treatment program in comparison to younger adults

1 May 1991


A retrospective study of 20 elderly (62-80 years) subjects and 20 gender matched younger (23-45) subjects in an inpatient multidisciplinary chronic pain treatment program was completed to assess differences that might exist in characteristics prior to treatment and results of treatment outcome. Both groups were similar in descriptive (n=2- for elderly and younger) and psychometric (n=11 for elderly and n=13 for younger) statistics prior to treatment except that the elderly group had a longer mean pain duration, a higher mean total of medications at time of admission, were more likely to be widowed, and were more likely to have a non-traumatic cause for the onset of pain. There was no significant difference between age groups in treatment outcomes (based on subjects returning for 6-week follow-up evaluation; elderly n=9, younger n=14). Also, both groups had significant change from pretreatment to posttreatment to 6-week follow-up in all quantitative measures with a decrease in pain intensity and prescription medication intake and an increase in sitting time, standing time, lifting capability, body mechanics score, and pacing ability.


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