The Geriatric Pain section of Frontiers in Pain Research publishes high-quality basic, applied, and translational investigations across the field of later-life pain. Given the continued aging of the population, studies that advance our understanding of how to optimally assess and manage pain in older adults and educate providers and caregivers how to perform these tasks will be critical to conduct. Although the number of studies evaluating pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic therapies for older persons experiencing pain continues to grow, important knowledge gaps remain. Factors limiting the generalizability and comparison of published findings include the use of widely diverse outcome measures; a lack of diversity in study populations with respect to race/ethnicity status and other health inequities; and enrollment of young-old participants (older adults under the age of 80) without significant comorbidities. Additionally, the short duration of most clinical trials (≤12 weeks) limits our understanding of the long-term effectiveness and adverse effects of commonly employed therapies to include psychosocial/behavioral treatments in older adults with pain.
This section welcomes articles that contribute new insights and knowledge on geriatric pain issues such as:
· The impact of pain on the aging adult and family members;
· The effect of social determinants of health on later-life pain outcomes;
· Early and mid-life exposures that affect the occurrence of pain and/or specific pain outcomes in later life;
· Pre-clinical research that sheds light on new targets for intervention;
· Improved understanding of pain and pain care in the context of aging principles and prevalent geriatric syndromes, including frailty, sarcopenia, multimorbidity, polypharmacy, falls, delirium, and cognitive impairment;
· Pain phenotyping;
· Pain behaviors, communication and outcomes ascertained through biomedical, behavioral and social science research;
· New methods of pain assessment that advance recognition and interpretation of pain and its impact, including in those unable to self-report pain;
· Innovative approaches to pain management, as well as educational interventions that improve healthcare providers’ abilities to successfully manage pain in older adults;
· Development, testing, and dissemination/implementation of age-appropriate non-pharmacologic and pharmacologic approaches to the management of pain in older adults;
· Optimal methods of pain diagnosis;
· Mechanisms that underlie psychosocial/behavioral approaches to the management of later-life pain and ways to improve treatment adherence;
· Ways to leverage new approaches (e.g., social networks, mobile health) that enhance treatment outcomes; and
· Studies of dissemination and implementation of effective therapies that address multiple barriers to care including access; and
· Innovative care models to improve the management of pain in older adults.
The Geriatric Pain specialty will focus on enhancing and disseminating new knowledge that benefits older adults living with pain, informal and formal caregivers, and the broad array of healthcare providers delivering care to aging adults. This section will take a holistic and interdisciplinary approach to geriatric pain assessment, management, and education. We welcome clinical and research findings, perspectives, concept papers, hypothesis-driven investigations, systematic reviews and meta-analyses, with a particular emphasis on studies that seek to enhance the management of acute, chronic/persistent, or cancer-related pain, as well as pain experienced by individuals receiving palliative and/or end-of-life care.
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PMCID: coming soon for all published articles
Geriatric Pain welcomes submissions of the following article types: Brief Research Report, Correction, Data Report, Editorial, Field Grand Challenge, General Commentary, Hypothesis and Theory, Methods, Mini Review, Opinion, Original Research, Perspective, Policy Brief, Review, Specialty Grand Challenge and Systematic Review.
All manuscripts must be submitted directly to the section Geriatric Pain, where they are peer-reviewed by the Associate and Review Editors of the specialty section.
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