A geriatric assessment in general practice: prevalence, location, impact and doctor-patient perceptions of pain

2016 | journal article; research paper. A publication with affiliation to the University of Göttingen.

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​Kruschinski, Carsten, et al. "A geriatric assessment in general practice: prevalence, location, impact and doctor-patient perceptions of pain​." ​BMC Family Practice, vol. 17, ​2016, , ​doi: 10.1186/s12875-016-0409-z. 

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Kruschinski, Carsten; Wiese, Birgitt; Dierks, Marie-Luise; Hummers-Pradier, Eva ; Schneider, Nils; Junius-Walker, Ulrike
Background: To investigate what a geriatric assessment in general practice adds towards previous findings of prevalence, location, impact and the dyadic doctor-patient perception of pain in this age group. Methods: Cross-sectional study. Consecutive patients aged 70 and over underwent a comprehensive geriatric assessment in general practice that included a basic pain assessment (severity, sites and impact). Patients with pain and their doctors then independently rated its importance. Pain was correlated with further findings from the assessment, such as overall health, physical impairments, everyday function, falls, mood, health related lifestyle, social circumstances, using bivariate and multivariate statistics. Patient-doctor agreement on the importance of pain was calculated using kappa statistics. Results: 219 out of 297 patients (73.7 %) reported pain at any location. Pain was generally located at multiple sites. It was most often present at the knee (33.9 %), the lumbar spine (33.5 %) as well as the hip (13.8 %) and correlated with specific impairments such as restrictions of daily living (knee) or sleep problems (spine). Patients with pain and their physicians poorly agreed on the importance of the pain problem. Conclusions: A basic pain assessment can identify older patients with pain in general practice. It has resulted in a high prevalence exceeding that determined by encounters in consultations. It has been shown that a geriatric assessment provides an opportunity to address pain in a way that is adapted to older patients' needs - addressing all sites, its specific impact on life, and the patients' perceived importance of pain. Since there is little doctor-patient agreement, this seems a valuable strategy to optimize concrete treatment decisions and patient centered care.
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BMC Family Practice 
Institut für Allgemeinmedizin 
Federal Ministry of Education and Research [01GX0744]



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