Elderly recipients of home nursing services: pain, disability and functional competence
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Despite increasing evidence that pain is a problem with which many in their later years must contend, little is known about the experience of community-dwelling seniors who require the assistance of home nursing services to remain independent and functional in their homes. This study investigated the prevalence and experience of pain among seniors who were recipients of home nursing services. The study was guided by the World Health Organization Classification of Impairment, Disability and Handicap. Face to face interviews were conducted with 66 individuals who reported whether they were often troubled by pain and/or had experienced pain of a noteworthy nature within the 2 weeks prior to the interview. In addition, they responded to standardized questions about their pain experience and their levels of disability and functional competence. Findings revealed that although three-quarters of respondents reported pain, there was no association between pain and measures of disability. Findings, however, revealed an association between pain and measures of functional competence, more specifically, global function, level of depressive symptomatology, sleep impairment and satisfaction with life. Implications for nursing include the need for a heightened awareness of the prevalence of pain in community-dwelling older adults and the development of assessment and intervention strategies that support their quality of life.