The Assessment of Discomfort in Elderly Confused Patients: A Preliminary Study

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Abstract

With the increasing numbers of older adults in our population, nurses are reexamining all aspects of nursing care in order to best meet the needs of these individuals. Normal age changes, the impact of decades of environmental challenges, successful adaptations, acute illnesses, trauma and chronic illnesses combine to create a challenge for accurate and effective assessment of elderly patients. The nurse finds her assessment skills challenged with increasing frequency by the elderly patient who is also acutely confused and experiencing discomfort. The purpose of this study was to explore the clinical utility, validity and reliability of four different approaches to nursing assessment of discomfort with this particularly vulnerable group of elders.

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