Pain assessment and cognitive impairment: part 1
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Pain assessment and cognitive impairment: part 1

Elizabeth Davies Head of nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Queensland
Margaret Male Clinical nurse consultant and liaison nurse
Valerie Reimer Clinical nurse, PCU Redcliffe Hospital, Redcliffe
Margaret Turner Nurse educator, The Prince Charles Hospital, Chermside
Kim Wylie Conjoint associate professor, University of Newcastle, LCM Centre for Learning, Development and Research, Calvary Retirement Community, Cessnock, New South Wales, Australia

People with cognitive impairment are often unable to inform others of their pain. Nurses need to be able to assess pain in cognitively impaired adults so that appropriate pain management strategies can be implemented. Evidence suggests that certain verbal, facial and behavioural signs may be indicative of pain. This article describes the process undertaken in developing a specific tool to facilitate pain assessment. The tool was developed after extensive analysis of pain research literature, input from experienced nurses and critical review by a panel of experts in dementia care. The research study will be published in next week’s Nursing Standard.

Nursing Standard. 19, 12, 39-42. doi: 10.7748/ns2004.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review