Long-Term Care

Take the pain out of pain assessments

PPS Alert for Long-Term Care, November 1, 2010

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It’s been one month since MDS 3.0 implementation and, believe it or not, the long-term care industry is still standing. Although facilities may have already mastered certain aspects of this new assessment, we will all continue to have questions and face challenges as we adapt to the MDS 3.0. One of those challenges is the proper completion of the pain assessment in Section J. Pain is among the most common physical symptoms found in nursing homes, but this is not so apparent when looking at MDS 2.0 data from recent years. So why the discrepancy? 

Research shows that resident self-report is the most reliable source of information in regards to pain presence and severity. However, the MDS 2.0 pain assessment relied on staff observation. According to the RAND report, studies using the MDS 2.0 to estimate pain prevalence in nursing homes yielded consistently, and sometimes dramatically, lower rates than research using resident self-report. To improve pain identification and management, Section J of the MDS 3.0 includes new pain management items and an interview that allows SNFs to gather information about pain directly from the resident. 

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to PPS Alert for Long-Term Care.

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