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Palliative care in dementia: literaturereview of nurses’ knowledge andattitudes towards pain assessment

McIlfatrick, Sonja (2015) Palliative care in dementia: literaturereview of nurses’ knowledge andattitudes towards pain assessment. International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 21 (8). pp. 400-407. [Journal article]

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URL: http://www.magonlinelibrary.com/doi/10.12968/ijpn.2015.21.8.400

DOI: 10.12968/ijpn.2015.21.8.400


Background: Pain is prevalent among older people, yet is often under-recognised and undertreated in people with dementia.The nurse has a central role in identifying and appropriately assessing pain in order to provide effective treatment. Researchhowever suggests there are significant deficits in this area. Aim: To explore the evidence on nurses’ knowledge and attitudesto pain assessment in older people with dementia. Design: A systematic narrative review of peer-reviewed articles publishedbetween 2000 and 2014. Data sources: Seven electronic data bases (CINAHL, MEDLINE, PsycInfo, Wiley, Pubmed, ProQuestand OVID) were searched and articles focusing on nurses knowledge and attitudes on pain assessment towards people withdementia. Methods: Research participants within the studies reviewed were to include registered nurses involved in theassessment and management of pain in older adults with dementia from across all healthcare settings (e.g. dementia units,nursing homes, community and acute settings). Results: Data were systematically analysed from 11 papers. Using an inductiveapproach for thematic content analysis informed by the theory of planned behaviour, five themes were identified. Theseincluded: 1) Challenges in diagnosing pain in dementia 2) Inadequacies of pain assessment tools 3) Time constraints andworkload pressures 4) Lack of interdisciplinary teamwork and communication 5) Training and education. Conclusion:Nurses play a key role in the effective management of pain through the use of pain assessment tools, behavioural observation,and analgesic choice. Pain assessment in dementia remains challenging for nurses due to the complexity and individualisationof pain behaviours. The accessibility of appropriate training, workforce stability and a standardised approach to painassessment are key to the successful management of pain in older people with dementia.

Item Type:Journal article
Keywords:Pain assessment l Dementia l Palliative care l Older people l Knowledge l Attitudes
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Nursing
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Research Institutes and Groups:Institute of Nursing and Health Research
Institute of Nursing and Health Research > Managing Chronic Illness Research Centre
ID Code:32321
Deposited By: Professor Sonja McIlfatrick
Deposited On:15 Sep 2015 10:30
Last Modified:15 Sep 2015 10:30

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