Frequency and type of chronic pain care approaches used for elderly residents in Japan and the factors influencing these approaches


Yukari Takai, Graduate School of Health Sciences, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo 113-8519, Japan. Email:


Aim:  To assess the frequency at which various chronic pain care (CPC) approaches were used while managing older residents of the Health Service Facilities for the Elderly Requiring Care (HSFERC) in Japan and to assess the factors related to nurses and care workers that influence this care.

Methods:  A descriptive study design was used. The population comprised 31 nurses, 92 care workers, and 18 residents with chronic pain in eight HSFERC centers located in three provincial cities in Japan. A questionnaire was formulated by using the data collected by a literature review to assess the frequencies at which various CPC approaches were applied and the factors that might influence this care.

Results:  The most frequently preferred CPC approaches were gentle handling and support while providing daily care, listening attentively, and providing a recreational activity. The factors that affected the provision of CPC were the qualifications, years of experience of aged care, and experience of studying about chronic pain. The nurses tended to have a misconception regarding the manner in which the residents complained of pain and their pain sensitivity. Furthermore, organizational strategies for pain management were not reported by the nurses and care workers.

Conclusions:  In order to provide effective and active CPC, ongoing education about pain and cooperation between nurses and care workers to manage residents' pain are highly recommended.