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Pain: classification, evaluation and measurement scales

Pain is a common condition among older people . It is often not properly recognized and treated. The therapies used are often inconsistent or untargeted. Pain can be associated with mood disorders that heavily affect quality of life.

Definition of pain

Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual, potential, or perceived (described) tissue damage in terms of the damage. This is how the International Association for the Study of Pain – IASP defined it, which also elaborated its taxonomy. All terms were carefully reviewed and their usefulness assessed with respect to new knowledge about the clinical and basic aspects of pain wong-baker pain scale.

Pain detection

Periodicity of the survey

Pain is defined as the fifth vital parameter and in hospitals it is surveyed daily. According to the literature, pain detection in RSA should be done :

at the entrance

for the first 15 days of the observation period

whenever there are changes in the general conditions of the person and in the drafting and revision of individual assistance projects (PAI).

In order to correctly assess pain and to avoid over or underestimation of this parameter, it is essential that it is conducted by expert doctors and nurses.

Pain rating scales

The evaluation scales useful for measuring pain offer an objective and comparable reading, through the collection of qualitative and quantitative data. Their use therefore also makes it possible to measure the results of the treatment.

The choice of the scale for measuring pain is made on the basis of individual characteristics, and implies a good knowledge of the person’s cognitive and behavioral abilities. Given the wide range of subjects, it is advisable to make all the scales available to professionals, with a wide range of choices. The measurement of pain through direct or self-evaluation scales (self-report), also called one-dimensional.

They are based on the verbal or analogical description that the person is able to give of their pain and evaluate the intensity of the pain. The most used scales are: Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), NRS, VRS, Face Pain Scale. Pain measurement is direct , as the person states the level of pain they perceive. Using these scales implies a good level of understanding and the ability to communicate intact, so they can be used in guests who understand the simple questions.

In addition to pain intensity, they evaluate specific behavioral and physiological indices in response to a painful stimulus in patients with severe cognitive impairment who are unable to express pain. The evaluation of the presence and possible causes of pain is entrusted to the observation of the operators.