Modern medicine and patients' well being

July 6, 2012
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.

Explore further: Elderly emergency patients less likely to receive pain medication than middle-aged patients

Related Stories

Elderly emergency patients less likely to receive pain medication than middle-aged patients

November 11, 2011
A new study finds that people 75 years old or older are less likely to receive any pain medication in hospital emergency departments than middle aged people – those between 35 and 54 years old.

Effective pain management crucial to older adults' well-being

April 11, 2011
Improved management of chronic pain can significantly reduce disability in older adults, according to the latest issue of the WHAT'S HOT newsletter from The Gerontological Society of America (GSA).

After an emergency, comprehensive care is best for older patients

July 22, 2011
Older people rushed to the emergency room are more likely to be living at home up to a year later if they receive a comprehensive and age-appropriate evaluation during their hospital stay.

Recommended for you

Breathing dirty air may harm kidneys, study finds

September 21, 2017
Outdoor air pollution has long been linked to major health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. A new study now adds kidney disease to the list, according to ...

Excess dietary manganese promotes staph heart infection

September 21, 2017
Too much dietary manganese—an essential trace mineral found in leafy green vegetables, fruits and nuts—promotes infection of the heart by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus ("staph").

Being active saves lives whether a gym workout, walking to work or washing the floor

September 21, 2017
Physical activity of any kind can prevent heart disease and death, says a large international study involving more than 130,000 people from 17 countries published this week in The Lancet.

Frequent blood donations safe for some, but not all

September 21, 2017
(HealthDay)—Some people may safely donate blood as often as every eight weeks—but that may not be a healthy choice for all, a new study suggests.

Higher manganese levels in children correlate with lower IQ scores, study finds

September 21, 2017
A study led by environmental health researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine finds that children in East Liverpool, Ohio with higher levels of Manganese (Mn) had lower IQ scores. The research appears ...

One e-cigarette with nicotine leads to adrenaline changes in nonsmokers' hearts

September 20, 2017
A new UCLA study found that healthy nonsmokers experienced increased adrenaline levels in their heart after one electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) with nicotine but there were no increased adrenaline levels when the study ...

0 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.