Background: Pain impacts the lives of millions of community-dwelling older adults. An important characteristic of pain is “pain interference” which describes the influence of pain on function. A description of pain interference is limited in rural settings where the number of older adults is expected to increase, and health disparities exist. Aims: The purpose of this study was to describe pain interference and analgesic medication use, highlighting those that may be potentially inappropriate in a sample of rural community-dwelling older adults. Design: This secondary analysis was from a cross sectional study. Sample and Settings: Data were analyzed from a sample of 138 rural community-dwelling older adults. Methods: Statistical analyses were performed on demographics, health characteristics, pain interference, and potentially inappropriate analgesic medication data. Results: Pain interference with work activity was reported by 76% of older adults overall, with 23% reporting moderate and 4% extreme interference, and 41% reported sleep difficulty due to pain. Higher pain interference was significantly associated with higher body mass index, more health providers, and the daily use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Older women experienced more sleep difficulties due to pain. Over-the-counter analgesics were used most frequently by rural older adults to manage pain. Of most risk was the daily use of NSAIDs, in which only 30% used medications to protect the gastrointestinal system. Conclusions: Older adults in rural settings experience pain interference and participate in independent-medicating behaviors that may impact safety.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Advanced and Specialized Nursing