Interdisciplinary rehab helps seniors with chronic pain

Older adults with chronic pain benefit most from interdisciplinary rehabilitation programs, according to new findings presented at the American Academy of Pain Medicine’s 33rd Annual Meeting.

Researchers found significant differences based on participants’ age. Seniors benefited as much as, if not more than, younger adults who were enrolled in interdisciplinary chronic rehabilitation programs for the treatment of chronic pain. Seniors reported fewer symptoms of depression, anxiety and functional impairment.

 “Physicians are always seeking the safest and most effective forms of treatment and prefer options that will not run the risks of impairing cognition, increasing falls risk, etc.,” says Kelly Martincin, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at Cleveland Clinic and lead author of a scientific poster abstract in a press release. “Establishing the value of an interdisciplinary program for the older adult non-cancer chronic pain population specifically provides physicians another tool to offer their patients.”

Martincin and colleagues studied 225 older adults and 1,249 younger adults who were treated in an interdisciplinary chronic pain rehabilitation program between 2007 and 2012. All patients in the study showed significant improvement after being discharged from the interdisciplinary chronic rehabilitation program.

Up to half of older adults aged 60 and older report having chronic pain, but treating them can be difficult because of their complex medical comorbidities. 

Topics: Rehabilitation