Pain Management in Home Health Care: Relationship With Dementia and Facility Admissions

Jinjiao Wang, Todd B. Monroe, Adam Simning, Yeates Conwell, Thomas V. Caprio, Xueya Cai, Helena Temkin-Greener, Ulrike Muench, Fang Yu, Song Ge, Yue Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Pain is common yet under-studied among older Medicare home health (HH) patients with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD).

AIMS: Examine (1) the association between ADRD and severe pain in Medicare HH patients; and (2) the impact of severe pain and ADRD on unplanned facility admissions in this population.

DESIGN: Analysis of the Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS) and Medicare claims data.

SETTINGS/PARTICIPANTS: 6,153 patients ≥65 years receiving care from a nonprofit HH agency in 2017.

METHODS: Study outcomes included presence of severe pain and time-to-event measures of unplanned facility admissions (hospital, nursing home, or rehabilitation facilities). ADRD was identified using ICD-10 diagnosis codes and cognitive impairment symptoms. Logistic regression and Cox proportional hazard models were used to examine, respectively, the association between ADRD and severe pain, and the independent and interaction effects of severe pain and ADRD on unplanned facility admission.

RESULTS: Patients with ADRD (n = 1,525, 24.8%) were less likely to have recorded severe pain than others (16.4% vs. 23.6%, p < .001). Adjusting for demographics, comorbidities, mental and physical functional status, and use of HH services, having severe pain was related to a 35% increase (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.35, p = .002) in the risk of unplanned facility admission, but the increase in such risk was the same whether or not the patient had ADRD.

CONCLUSIONS: HH patients with ADRD may have under-recognized pain. Severe pain is a significant independent predictor of unplanned facility admissions among HH patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-43
Number of pages8
JournalPain Management Nursing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was conducted with the support of the following funders: Elaine C. Hubbard Center for Nursing Research on Aging Research Endowed Award (JW), Terry Family Research Endowed Award (JW), and the Valerie and Frank Furth Fund Award (JW). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Society for Pain Management Nursing


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