Pain in adults with dementia: does it exist?

Written by Pat Schofield, Deputy Dean for Research & Income Generation. Anglia Ruskin University (Cambridge, UK)

As we are seeing a significant increase in the older population, we are also aware that the population with some form of dementia is increasing. We believe that currently there are around 850,000 adults with dementia in the UK [1] and we anticipate that there will be over 44 million worldwide by 2020 [2]. Dementia, as with any form of cognitive impairment, prevents effective communication of pain. In the past, this failure to articulate pain in a language that we can understand has resulted in poor pain management and often older adults with communication difficulties have not received analgesic drugs...

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