Quarterly scientific journal

Pain in the elderly and awareness of complementary therapies: a questionnaire based survey

Alexandra Mantoudi , Eleni Eftihidou

Abstract

Pain in the Elderly amounts to one of the most prominent parameters that affect deterioration in their quality of life. About 60-71% of community based elderly report presence of pain, and 33% of them report daily persistent pain. Published research results indicate that complementary therapies reinforce the analgesic effect of medication either directly by their analgesic action, or indirectly by reduction of tension and stress, endorphin production, increase of blood flow and mobility. The survey object was to investigate the degree of awareness among the elderly, of complementary therapies, particularly of those who experience pain and are 65 or over. Sample and methodology: The survey population consisted of 100 people - members of KAPI in Athens and Thessaloniki. Data collection was based on an interviewing schedule and questionnaire completion by two different groups of 50 people each. As far as methodology was concerned the sample was selected according to availability and willingness to participate. Results indicate the following: 66% of the total sample report that they would use some complementary therapy for pain relief. Another 72% of the total sample (i.e. 2/3), report that they require more information on complementary therapies. Conclusion: Elderly people are interested in complementary therapies as alternative methods of pain management. Furthermore, should they have access to more information on this subject they would use them more frequently.

Keywords: Pain, elderly, complementary therapies, awareness

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