Assessment and classification of pain in the elderly patient

Richard T. Jermyn, Deanna M. Janora, Sajid A. Surve

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Physicians and healthcare providers must assess all of their elderly patients for pain. It is important to distinguish between acute and chronic pain. Not treating patients' pain can lead to decreased socialization, depression, and insomnia. Assessment of pain should be done without bias because providers tend to underestimate the pain of the patient. A thorough neurologic and musculoskeletal exam should be performed. Pain should be classified as nociceptive, neuropathic, or mixed. Once classified, a unique pain management program can be structured for the patient. Two other articles in this issue ("Pharmacologic Management of Pain in Older Patients" and "Alternatives and Controversies for Pain Management in the Elderly"), the latter of which is available online at, will summarize treatment options for elderly patients who have chronic and acute pain. Pharmacologic, interventional, and holistic treatments will be outlined. Finally, specific treatment problems seen in treating pain in the elderly will be addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-19
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Geriatrics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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