Are Chronic Pain Patients with Dementia Being Undermedicated?

Faculty/Professorship: Physiological Psychology  
Author(s): Achterberg, Wilco P.; Erdal, Ane; Husebo, Bettina; Kunz, Miriam ; Lautenbacher, Stefan
Title of the Journal: Journal of Pain Research
ISSN: 1178-7090
Publisher Information: Albany, Auckland : Dove Medical Press
Year of publication: 2021
Volume: 14
Pages: 431-439
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.2147/JPR.S239321
In dementia, neuropathological changes alter the perception and expression of pain. For clinicians and family members, this knowledge gap leads to difficulties in recognizing and assessing chronic pain, which may consequently result in persons with dementia receiving lower levels of pain medication compared to those without cognitive impairment. Although this situation seems to have improved in recent years, considerable geographical variation persists. Over the last decade, opioid use has received global attention as a result of overuse and the risk of addiction, while the literature on older persons with dementia actually suggests undertreatment. This review stresses the importance of reliable assessment and the regular evaluation and monitoring of symptoms in persons with dementia. Based on current evidence, we concluded that chronic pain is still undertreated in dementia.
GND Keywords: Chronischer Schmerz; Demenz
Keywords: pain, dementia, assessment, analgesic treatment
DDC Classification: 610 Medicine & health  
RVK Classification: WW 4250   
Type: Article
Release Date: 1. September 2022