Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Pain Research: Routine Tylenol For Nursing Home Residents With Dementia Increases Activity

Date:
December 3, 2005
Source:
Saint Louis University
Summary:
A Saint Louis University study finds that routine doses of acetaminophen energize nursing home residents who have moderate to severe dementia and are likely to have chronic pain.

Nursing homes should consider the potential benefits of routinely giving over-the-counter painkillers to residents who have dementia and are likely to have from chronic pain, Saint Louis University research suggests.

The study, published in the November issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, finds that nursing home residents with moderate to severe dementia who were given acetaminophen were more socially active than those who received a placebo.

"Nursing homes may want to consider the potential benefits of some kind of safe, routine, prophylactic analgesic for people with dementia who are at high risk for pain," said John T. Chibnall, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry at Saint Louis University School of Medicine and lead study author.

"The assumption is that people with dementia don't feel pain because they're demented. Actually, they do feel it; they just can't tell you about it. Standard pain assessment requires levels of communication and language comprehension that people with advanced dementia, by definition, do not have."

The Saint Louis University research team included Raymond C. Tait, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry, and Bonnie Harman, Ph.D., assistant clinical professor of nursing. The team observed 25 patients who had moderate to severe dementia at two nursing homes over an eight-week period. In addition to receiving their usual psychotropic medications, they routinely were given acetaminophen for four weeks, and a placebo for four weeks.

Acetaminophen (Tylenol) was given because it has few side effects, is routinely given for pain control in nursing homes, and is not habit forming or sedating, Chibnall said.

Those who received the acetaminophen were more active than the others. They spent less time alone in their rooms and more time interacting with others, watching television, listening to music, engaging in work-like activities and talking to themselves.

"Treating their pain seems to energize them somewhat, which was manifested in more positive engagement with their environment," Chibnall said.

He said that patients who have a history of conditions where pain is a primary symptom -- including arthritis, fractures, diabetic neuropathy, chronic low back pain or headaches -- are the most likely to benefit from routine analgesics, such as Tylenol.

"The current findings are particularly noteworthy because they were obtained with acetaminophen, a mild analgesic that does not carry the side-effect risks of more potent opioid analgesics. Under certain circumstances, prophylactic treatment of pain in elderly persons with dementia therefore appears safe and effective in increasing active engagement with the environment."

###

Established in 1836, Saint Louis University School of Medicine has the distinction of awarding the first M.D. degree west of the Mississippi River. Saint Louis University School of Medicine is a pioneer in geriatric medicine, organ transplantation, chronic disease prevention, cardiovascular disease, neurosciences and vaccine research, among others. The School of Medicine trains physicians and biomedical scientists, conducts medical research, and provides health services on a local, national and international level.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Saint Louis University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Saint Louis University. "New Pain Research: Routine Tylenol For Nursing Home Residents With Dementia Increases Activity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 December 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051202133403.htm>.
Saint Louis University. (2005, December 3). New Pain Research: Routine Tylenol For Nursing Home Residents With Dementia Increases Activity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051202133403.htm
Saint Louis University. "New Pain Research: Routine Tylenol For Nursing Home Residents With Dementia Increases Activity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051202133403.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) British researchers were able to use Mount Everest's low altitudes to study insulin resistance. They hope to find ways to treat diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Carpenter's Injury Leads To Hundreds Of 3-D-Printed Hands

Carpenter's Injury Leads To Hundreds Of 3-D-Printed Hands

Newsy (Apr. 14, 2014) Richard van As lost all fingers on his right hand in a woodworking accident. Now, he's used the incident to create a prosthetic to help hundreds. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins