There's no question about it that the effects of unrelieved pain take their toll on the individual, on any individual. Some of the adverse effects of pain are functional decline, complications of immobility, skin breakdown, infections. But not only can pain lead to these health and safety problems for a resident. But it certainly significantly affects an individual’s quality of life as well. Pain is tightly linked to depression and diminish self confidence and self esteem and also with an increase in behavior problems particularly for cognitively impaired residents. Read this expert information provided by our expert in a long term care conference to know more.
For these residents whose quality of life has already been significantly disrupted enough to have to live in a nursing home at least on a temporary basis if not long-term. This further decline in quality of life can be just devastating to them. And of course, for the facility, the result can be significant survey, deficiencies and quality of life and quality of care tags and also some very costly time consuming litigation these days.
Our expert mentioned in a long term care conference that pain is measured on a quality measure and the quality indicator. Quality indicators are used for the survey purpose for quality measure report that is posted on the internet for the public to see. If the pain is not being well controlled in your facility compared to pain control in facilities throughout your state, then consumers are going to be able to see that.
On the Nursing Home Compare website at the Medicare.gov. And so, obviously, that's not a good thing. It's not a good thing for the residents. But it's certainly not a good thing for this facility either.
The studies indicate the prevalence of pain among nursing home residents is as high as 83%. As for 45% to 80% of those residents substantial pain goes untreated. And also 41% of residents assessed to have pain are in persistent severe pain at the next assessment.
And the thing that really is sort of shocking is that in a full 90% of those cases, the pain could have been relieved by conventional treatment.
In light of these statistics, it's no surprise to learn then that pain is significantly under reported in nursing. And the pain management often seems to be sort of a hit and miss process despite an increased emphasis on pain management in recent years.
Studies found that CNAs accurately spot pain in their residents only 1/3 of the time. And that residents in CNAs disagree on pain assessments 62% of the time.
And some of the research that underlies the MDS3.0, the new version of the MDS really emphasizes significant research in this area that shows that even cognitively impaired residents, most of them can tell us about their pain as well as some other things like depression and some other things.
And so the emphasis is moving more and more towards resident interview about pain as opposed to using mainly observation of the residents to determine whether or not there's pain. And of course, there are significant challenges in assessing pain in cognitively impaired residents.
You can implement some really good programs following the long term care guidelines. But if you're not monitoring the outcomes to make sure that you're getting the quality that you're shooting for, chances are that it's and going to be as effective as you intended it to be over time.
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