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Care of the older person
Analgesic medicines not administered to those with dementia in residential settings despite awareness of undertreatment of and susceptibility to severe pain
  1. Matthew Harris,
  2. Gurpreet Kaur
  1. School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Worcester, Worcester, Worcestershire, UK
  1. Correspondence to Matthew Harris, School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Worcester, Worcester, WR2 6AJ, UK; matthew.harris{at}

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Commentary on: Frenais F et al. Factors influencing prescription and administration of analgesic medication: A longitudinal study of people with dementia living in care homes. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 2021;1–8 (1).

Implications for practice and research


Healthcare workers require appropriate training in how to recognise and manage pain effectively for those with diagnosed or probable dementia.


Develop and evaluate a standardised protocol for the management of pain in those with diagnosed or probable dementia in residential settings.


Approximately 70% of residents in care homes have dementia or severe memory problems which restrict their ability to communicate their needs and preferences1 resulting in inadequately treated pain. Multiple pathophysiological changes occur throughout the ageing process, including neurological manifestations which result in increased experience of severe pain, particularly in people with degenerative diseases where repeated painful stimuli occur.2 This study attempted to explore the factors that influence how analgesics …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.