Modern medicine and patients' well being

Modern medicine and patients' well being

(Medical Xpress) -- A new study has found that although there has been an explosion in the scientific underpinning of modern medicine, gaps still remain in our knowledge when it comes to clinicians looking after patients' well being, especially for older people.

La Trobe University Adjunct Associate Professor Benny Katz, Australian Centre for Evidence Based Aged Care (ACEBAC), looked into the current trend of evidence-based medicine and it being adopted as a means of achieving optimal medical care to reduce variations in clinical practice.

" are considered the highest level of scientific evidence. However, older individuals are either excluded or underrepresented in these studies, and those who are included are often atypical of seen in clinical practice.

"There are many that do not lend themselves to being answered by randomized controlled trials.

"The aim of this study was to examine the approach to making in frail older persons when there is little or no scientific evidence to guide management," says Dr. Katz.

The will result in larger numbers of patients with complex age-related conditions seeking treatment for pain.

Dr. Katz, who is also a Geriatrician at St Vincent's Hospital and Director of the Victorian Geriatric Medicine Training Program—used a case study to highlight many important issues surrounding the management of pain in older adults.

"There is a need in clinical practice to find a balance with evidence-based medicine and the preferences of the patient for optimal health outcomes," says Dr. Katz.

The study also highlights the importance of Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA)—a multidimensional process designed to detect factors that may have a significant impact on the well being of an older adult.

"When treating older people, clinicians not only need to take into consideration the severity of pain, but also the impact of pain and its treatment on cognition, mood and functional status.

"Combining the practices of pain and CGA may result in a better outcome," says Dr. Katz.

"A focus on the medical aspects and adjustment of treatment based solely on age will often not be adequate as it fails to take into consideration the heterogeneity of older adults.

"Some will have aged ‘well’ and need little modification to the approach used for younger patients, while others who are frail or have multiple comorbidities will require a modified approach," says Dr. Katz.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Drug-free treatments offer hope for older people in pain

Sep 10, 2007

Mind-body therapies, which focus on the interactions between the mind, body and behavior, and the ways in which emotional, mental, social and behavioral factors can affect health, may be of particular benefit to elderly chronic ...

Recommended for you

Testosterone testing has increased in recent years

Nov 21, 2014

(HealthDay)—There has been a recent increase in the rate of testosterone testing, with more testing seen in men with comorbidities associated with hypogonadism, according to research published online Nov. ...

AMA: Hospital staff should consider impact of CMS rule

Nov 21, 2014

(HealthDay)—Hospital medical staff members need to consider the impact of a final rule issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that revised the conditions of participation for hospitals ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.