Holistic assessment of chronic pain among elders

Susan Ruzicka, Sandra Sanchez-Reilly, Meghan Gerety

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This pilot study assessed pain using 7 dimensions of pain (physiologic, behavioral, sensory, affective, cognitive, sociocultural, and spiritual) to better understand and identify patterns of elder response to chronic pain within a holistic framework. Previously validated instruments were used to assess 150 cognitively intact subjects, aged 65 years and older, with chronic pain. Thirteen patterns were identified reflecting distinct patterns of pain response. Two patterns comprised 85% of the responses: (1) high spiritual well-being, low physiologic pain, and high perceived independent functioning; and (2) high spiritual well-being, low physiologic pain, and lower perceived independent functioning. The 11 other patterns of pain response also varied in their responses to the pain experience. These responses reflect the unique and holistic experience of chronic pain among older adults. Holistic assessment enhances the understanding of the pain specific to the individual. Self-perceived functional dependence and the spiritual component significantly influence chronic pain experiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-299
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2007


  • Aging
  • Chronic pain
  • Functional assessment
  • Holistic assessment
  • Spiritual assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Holistic assessment of chronic pain among elders'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this