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date: 31 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Pain assessment and management in persons with dementia are especially challenging and important topics because under-identification and under-treatment are common in this vulnerable population. This chapter recommends the Unmet Needs conceptual model as an important paradigm for understanding causes of pain in persons with dementia. Pharmacological and non-pharmacological pain interventions are described. An integrative clinical assessment/intervention approach, ‘Distress First’, is presented. Clinicians are encouraged to use the term ‘distress’ rather than ‘pain’ for this population. An assessment and treatment approach, ‘Look•Listen•Guess•Respond•Repeat’ is recommended. Finally, a set of principles is presented to guide clinicians toward action at both individual and systemic levels to improve pain assessment and management for this population.

Keywords: pain, dementia, distress, assessment, treatment, analgesics, non-pharmacological treatment

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