Communities and Collections

Pain, anxiety, and analgesics: A comparative study of elderly and younger surgical patients

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • To determine if the post-operative experience of elderly and younger patients is different, data were collected from 41 elderly patients (65 years and older) and 249 younger patients (under 65 years). Pain and anxiety were assessed on days two and three post-operative. Anxiety was also measured pre-operatively. Amount of analgesic ordered and given, and time of last analgesic prior to pain assessment were recorded. Significant differences were found in the number of analgesics given, with the elderly receiving fewer analgesics. There were no significant differences in pain intensity levels. In both age categories patients were given less analgesic on the third post-operative day, regardless of pain intensity. The two groups chose almost, identical pain descriptors. In both groups strong associations were observed between post-operative anxiety and pain, but pre-operative anxiety seemed unrelated to post-operative pain levels. It was concluded that health care professionals manage pain similarly for both younger and elderly patients, but the elderly require less analgesic for pain control.

  • Date created
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Article (Published)
  • DOI
  • License
    © 1990 Cambridge University Press. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
  • Language
  • Citation for previous publication
    • Oberle, K., Paul, P., Wry, J., & Grace, M. (1990). Pain, anxiety, and analgesics: A comparative study of elderly and younger surgical patients. Canadian Journal on Aging, 9(1), 13-22. DOI: