Copyright 2001 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.
Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2001
In Reply: Mr Brown questions the validity of
the findings of a high prevalence of pain in nursing home residents in light
of the December 2000 report of the Office of the Inspector General that calls
for improvement in the process of completion of the MDS. Our study relies
on universally available administrative data describing nursing home residents'
pain. We agree that, to the extent that these data are more reliable and incorporated
into the care planning process (the original intention of the MDS), the value
of the data will also improve.1 As we noted,
we believe that our findings underestimate the true rate of pain. Engle et
al2 confirmed this in a recent report, finding
that, although health care providers' assessments of pain are reasonably reliable
among themselves, they systematically underestimate the frequency and intensity
of pain in the MDS when compared with patients' perspectives. Furthermore,
our results are consistent with previous research, including interviews with
family members3 and expert pain assessment.4
Teno JM, Mor V, Weitzen S, Wetle T. Persistent Pain in Nursing Home Residents—Reply. JAMA. 2001;286(7):788. doi:10.1001/jama.286.7.788
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