Geriatric mental health: chronic pain and depression

Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


NLM Title Abbreviation

J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Psychosocial Nursing & Mental Health Services

Start Page



Psychological factors, including depression, are often involved in the development and continuation of chronic pain problems. Increased understanding of the role of depression in the etiology and maintenance of chronic pain can improve assessment and intervention for the elderly with chronic pain complaints. It is often impossible to determine whether the stress of living with chronic pain has caused the elder to become depressed or whether a depressive disorder is the cause of the pain experience. It is important to remember that the elderly's depression and chronic pain may be unrelated. Nurses must consider the possibility of both pain and depression as the primary etiology for symptoms that often are representative of both conditions. Nurses should consider whether the elder with depression might have a pain condition that has led to the psychological repsonse or whether the patient is experiencing physiological, psychological, or social changes that have contributed to the pain problem.


Education, Continuing (Credit), Chronic Pain -- Psychosocial Factors -- In Old Age, Depression -- In Old Age, Psychiatric Nursing, Research, Gerontologic Nursing, Chronic Pain -- Complications -- In Old Age, Depression -- Complications -- In Old Age, Nursing Assessment -- In Old Age, Pain Measurement, Research Instruments, Aged, Aged, 80 and Over

Published Article/Book Citation

Journal of Psychosocial Nursing & Mental Health Services, 30:9 (1992) pp.7-.

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