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Am J Nurs. 2008 Jul;108(7):62-70; quiz 71. doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000325648.01797.fc.

Pain assessment in people with dementia.

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1
University of Florida College of Nursing in Gainesville, USA. ahorgas@ufl.edu

Abstract

Pain in older adults is very often undertreated, and it may be especially so in older adults with severe dementia. Changes in a patient's ability to communicate verbally present special challenges in treating pain, and unrelieved pain can have serious consequences, including declines in physical function and diminished appetite. The Pain Assessment in Advanced Dementia (PAINAD) scale has been designed to assess pain in this population by looking at five specific indicators: breathing, vocalization, facial expression, body language, and consolability. A trained nurse or other health care worker can use the scale in less than five minutes of observation. For an online video showing nurses using the PAINAD scale and other pain-assessment tools, go to http://links.lww.com/A251.

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