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Pain assessment 

Pain assessment
Chapter:
Pain assessment
Author(s):

Regina M. Fink

, Rose A. Gates

, and Robert K. Montgomery

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199332342.003.0006
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date: 12 November 2018

Pain is multifactorial and affects the whole person and family caregivers, and multiple barriers to pain assessment exist. Patients should be screened for pain on admission to a hospital, clinic, nursing home, hospice, or home care agency. If pain or discomfort is reported, a comprehensive pain assessment should be performed at regular intervals, whenever there is a change in the pain, and after any modifications in the pain management plan. The patient’s self-report of pain is the gold standard, even for those patients who are nonverbal or cognitively impaired. Multiple pain scales are available for use in nonverbal or cognitively impaired patients or residents; these should be used in combination with clinical observation and information from healthcare professionals and family caregivers.

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