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Pain Research and Management
Volume 3, Issue 2, Pages 91-96
Original Article

Pain Research and Treatment in the Gerontological Context: A Discussion of the Issues

Margaret C Gibson,1 Michael R Thomas,2 and Andrew J Cook3

1Veterans Care Program, Parkwood Hospital, London, Ontario, Canada
2Department of Psychology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
3Vancouver Pain Clinic, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Received 30 October 1997; Revised 31 March 1998

Copyright © 1998 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


An appreciation of the context in which gerontological health care occurs is crucial to the successful and ethical collection, interpretation and utilization of data on the pain experiences of elderly people. Important contextual considerations for researchers and clinicians who are addressing pain in the elderly are identified. It is argued that topics that are the focus of current attention in the field of pain and ageing, such as the effect of dementia on memory for pain and the responsiveness of the elderly to psychosocial pain treatment, would be clarified by an understanding of the broader sociopolitical context in which ageing occurs.