Background: Pain is a frequent and inevitable factor affecting the quality of life among older people. Several studies have highlighted the ineffectiveness of treating chronic pain among the aged population, and little is known about the prevalence of analgesics administration among community-dwelling older adults. The objective was to examine older adults’ prescription analgesic purchases in relation to SF-36 pain in a population-based setting. Methods: One thousand four hundred twenty community-dwelling citizens aged 62–86 years self-reported SF-36 bodily pain (pain intensity and pain-related interference) scores for the previous 4 weeks. The Social Insurance Institution of Finland register data on analgesic purchases for 6 months prior to and 6 months after the questionnaire data collection were considered. Special interest was focused on factors related to opioid purchases. Results: Of all participants, 84% had purchased prescription analgesics during 1 year. NSAIDs were most frequently purchased (77%), while 41% had purchased paracetamol, 32% opioids, 17% gabapentinoids, and 7% tricyclic antidepressants. Age made no marked difference in purchasing prevalence. The number of morbidities was independently associated with analgesic purchases in all subjects and metabolic syndrome also with opioid purchases in subjects who had not reported any pain. Discussion: Substantial NSAID and opioid purchases emerged. The importance of proper pain assessment and individual deliberation in terms of analgesic contraindications and pain quality, as well as non-pharmacological pain management, need to be highlighted in order to optimize older adults’ pain management.
- Jufo-taso 1
!!ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health