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  1. Kang, Youjeong MPH, PhD, CCRN-K
  2. Choi, Yong K. MPH, PhD
  3. Stehlik, Josef MD, MPH
  4. Nielsen, Jane Deakin MSN, CRRN
  5. Reid, M. Carrington MD, PhD


Pain is not uncommon in older adult patients with heart failure (HF) and has been identified as a risk factor for rehospitalization of homebound patients with HF. Little is known about the pain experiences and management of older adults with HF after hospital discharge. We sought to describe pain and other symptoms among homebound older adults with HF using a qualitative and descriptive approach. We conducted semistructured interviews to obtain qualitative data and used the Brief Pain Instrument-Short Form and the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale to obtain descriptive data on symptom burden. We interviewed 18 participants within 10 days after hospital discharge. Participants' mean age was 75.8 +/- 9.0 years; 78% were White. The mean pain score at its worst was 5.2 +/- 3.1, and for pain interfering with sleep was 4.3 +/- 3.41. Most participants managed pain with medications. Using thematic analysis of qualitative data, we identified three distinct categories: (1) the diversity of patients' pain experiences, (2) the diversity of pain management routines, and (3) patients' experiences with healthcare providers' pain assessment and management practices. Our findings show that homebound older adults with HF experience various pain symptoms and receive inconsistent education about how to manage pain from healthcare providers. This study supports the need for better pain assessment and education about the appropriate use of pain medications and nonpharmacologic approaches to pain control for homebound older adults with HF.