Abstract

Background: Understanding how analgesics are used in different countries can inform initiatives to improve the pharmacological management of pain in nursing homes. Aims: To compare patterns of analgesic use among Australian and Japanese nursing home residents; and explore Australian and Japanese healthcare professionals’ perspectives on analgesic use. Methods: Part one involved a cross-sectional comparison among residents from 12 nursing homes in South Australia (N = 550) in 2019 and four nursing homes in Tokyo (N = 333) in 2020. Part two involved three focus groups with Australian and Japanese healthcare professionals (N = 16) in 2023. Qualitative data were deductively content analysed using the World Health Organization six-step Guide to Good Prescribing. Results: Australian and Japanese residents were similar in age (median: 89 vs 87) and sex (female: 73% vs 73%). Overall, 74% of Australian and 11% of Japanese residents used regular oral acetaminophen, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or opioids. Australian and Japanese healthcare professionals described individualising pain management and the first-line use of acetaminophen. Australian participants described their therapeutic goal was to alleviate pain and reported analgesics were often prescribed on a regular basis. Japanese participants described their therapeutic goal was to minimise impacts of pain on daily activities and reported analgesics were often prescribed for short-term durations, corresponding to episodes of pain. Japanese participants described regulations that limit opioid use for non-cancer pain in nursing homes. Conclusion: Analgesic use is more prevalent in Australian than Japanese nursing homes. Differences in therapeutic goals, culture, analgesic regulations and treatment durations may contribute to this apparent difference.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberafae024
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages22
JournalAge and Ageing
Volume53
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024

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