Pain Management in Nursing Home Residents: Results from the Incur Study

V. Nunziata, Marco Proietti, E. Saporiti, L. Calcaterra, Y. Rolland, B. Vellas, M. Cesari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Pain is very common among older persons living in nursing home, affecting 45% to 80% of residents, interfering with daily activities and quality of life. Aims of the study are: 1) to measure the analgesics non-prescription in nursing home residents who present pain symptoms; 2) to identify the main determinants of analgesics non-prescription. Design: Retrospective cross-sectional analysis. Setting: Data from an observational study (‘Incidence of pNeumonia and related ConseqUences in nursing home Residents’ [INCUR] study). Participants: 800 older persons living in 13 French nursing homes. Measurments: Pain symptoms were definied by one of the following criteria: i) Presence of pain affecting the individual’s function in the Activities of Daily Living; ii) Presence of daily pain, and/or; iii) Severe pain measured with a visual analogue scale. Results: Among the patients originally included in the study, 288 (36%) reported pain symptomatology (mean age 86.9 [SD 7.2] years, 220 (76%) participants women). Amongst these, 138 (47.9%) were treated with non-opioid analgesic drugs, 52 (18.1%) with opioids, and 98 (34%) did not receive any analgesic prescription. An adjusted logistic regression analysis found that the strongest determinant of analgesics non-prescription was the number of concomitantly prescribed drugs (p<0.001). Age, education, and frailty were not associated with prescription of analgesic drugs. Conclusions: Pain undertreatment is very common among older persons living in nursing homes. The number of prescribed medications represents the most relevant risk factor for the analgesics non-prescription. Our findings document the importance of reviewing prescriptions in nursing home residents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1019-1022
JournalJournal of Nutrition, Health and Aging
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • analgesics
  • drug prescription
  • nursing home
  • Older Persons
  • pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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