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February 17, 1999

Managing Pain in Elderly Patients

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1999;281(7):605-606. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-281-7-jbk0217

To the Editor: Dr Bernabei and colleagues1 must be praised for helping to define the significant problem of inadequate pain management in the elderly and advocating improved care. However, the authors' expectations of pain management are grossly unrealistic and possibly counterproductive, implying that physicians can eliminate any and all pain, and the failure to "prevent . . . pain effectively at virtually all times" is a "first-line indicator of poor quality of medical care."