Article Text

other Versions

Download PDFPDF
Observational study
Even with regular use of an observational scale to assess pain among nursing home residents with dementia, pain-relieving interventions are not frequently used
  1. Jiska Cohen-Mansfield
  1. Herczeg Institute on Aging, and Department of Health Promotion, School of Public Health, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel
  1. Correspondence to: Professor Jiska Cohen-Mansfield
    Herczeg Institute on Aging, Tel Aviv University, P.O.B. 39040, Ramat Aviv, Tel-Aviv, 69978, Israel; jiska{at}

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Commentary on: Zwakhalen SM, Van’t Hof CE, Hamers JP. Systematic pain assessment using an observational scale in nursing home residents with dementia: exploring feasibility and applied interventions. J Clin Nurs 2012;21:3009–17.

Implications for practice and research

  • Observational behavioural tools often fail to identify pain among people with dementia, rendering their utility to clinical practice questionable.

  • Caregivers used strategies such as redirecting rather than analgesic medication.

  • Further research is needed to explore the most effective strategies for decreasing pain in this context. This likely includes using different assessment strategies, different treatment protocols and staff mentoring.


The underdetection of pain in people with dementia is commonplace1 resulting in reduced quality of life and increased behaviour problems. Research has shown that pain can be detected and effectively treated in nursing home residents with dementia,2 ,3 reducing behaviour problems …

View Full Text


  • Competing interests None.