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Age and Pain

Age and Pain CHAPTER 5 The extent to which pain perception changes with age has been the topic of only a few laboratory and clinical investigations. The results of these re- ports con0ict as to whether pain perception differs with age. In reviewing these studies it may be helpfuI to separate "pain" into two concepts- "nociception," the sensation produced by actual or threat of tissue damage, and "pain behavior," the individual's responses to noxious stimulation in- cluding nonverbaI behavior as we11 as pain report. The human pain experience is a highly personal phenomenon reflecting an interaction of psychological and physiobgical processes (Mersky, 1968; Melzack and Casey, 1968; Melzack and Dennis, 1978). Thus, many factors in addition to sensory processes influence pain perception and report (Melzack and Casey, 1968). Cultural variables influencing individual differences in pain sensitivity include socia1 context and meaning of the noxious stimulation as well as social context and acceptability of particular pain behaviors. Cognitive variables influencing pain perception and report include atten- tional processes and memory for previous painful experiences. Clinical evidence suggests a relative increase in pain complaints in elderly compared to young patients. The extent to which the elevated fre quency of pain reports by the aged http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Annual Review of Gerontology & Geriatrics Springer Publishing

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Publisher
Springer Publishing
ISSN
0198-8794
eISSN
1944-4036
DOI
10.1891/0198-8794.1.1.121
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

CHAPTER 5 The extent to which pain perception changes with age has been the topic of only a few laboratory and clinical investigations. The results of these re- ports con0ict as to whether pain perception differs with age. In reviewing these studies it may be helpfuI to separate "pain" into two concepts- "nociception," the sensation produced by actual or threat of tissue damage, and "pain behavior," the individual's responses to noxious stimulation in- cluding nonverbaI behavior as we11 as pain report. The human pain experience is a highly personal phenomenon reflecting an interaction of psychological and physiobgical processes (Mersky, 1968; Melzack and Casey, 1968; Melzack and Dennis, 1978). Thus, many factors in addition to sensory processes influence pain perception and report (Melzack and Casey, 1968). Cultural variables influencing individual differences in pain sensitivity include socia1 context and meaning of the noxious stimulation as well as social context and acceptability of particular pain behaviors. Cognitive variables influencing pain perception and report include atten- tional processes and memory for previous painful experiences. Clinical evidence suggests a relative increase in pain complaints in elderly compared to young patients. The extent to which the elevated fre quency of pain reports by the aged

Journal

Annual Review of Gerontology & GeriatricsSpringer Publishing

Published: Sep 1, 1980

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