App for pain in dementia

App for pain in dementia

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Prospect of improved pain treatment for dementia?

A new app is currently being developed to support healthcare professionals in assessing and treating pain in people with dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases. So far, it has often been difficult to identify the pain symptoms in those affected because they can only communicate their symptoms to a limited extent.

An app is currently being developed by the University of Alberta, which should optimize the treatment of pain in people with dementia in the future. A report published in the English-language journal "JMIR Mhealth Uhealth" describes the results of the research so far.

Identifying pain in dementia is problematic

"The challenge in understanding pain in people with dementia is that the expression of pain in these people is often confused with psychiatric problems," study author Professor Eleni Stroulia of the University of Alberta said in a press release.

Better understanding of pain needed in dementia

The research group therefore tried to find out how new technologies - for example in the form of apps - can be used to better understand the pain of people with dementia. This could help significantly improve the treatment of pain in people with dementia in the future.

App is based on proven method

The new app is intended to digitize an observation checklist with pen and paper. Such a checklist has been used in the past to assess pain in people with dementia.

App should also save and manage data

The newly developed application is not only intended to help people in the healthcare system identify pain that occurs in people with dementia, it is also intended to securely store data on pain that occurs and to help manage it.

Assess coping skills for pain

The app should be widely applicable and also allow an assessment of how well coping techniques for pain work on an individual level. In this way, decision-making could be supported in the appropriate care of data subjects.

Improved treatment of pain in prospect of dementia

At the macro level, widespread use of such an app could significantly improve the quality and effectiveness of care for people with dementia. “If we have this kind of data, we can create models to understand the effects of various interventions,” emphasizes Professor Stroulia. This could lead to considerable advantages in the treatment of pain in people with dementia. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Mahnoor Zahid, Natasha L Gallant, Thomas Hadjistavropoulos, Eleni Stroulia: Behavioral Pain Assessment Implementation in Long-Term Care Using a Tablet App: Case Series and Quasi-Experimental Design, in JMIR Mhealth Uhealth (published Apr 22, 20 in Vol 8, No 4 (2020): April), JMIR Mhealth Uhealth
  • App promises to improve pain management in dementia patients, University of Alberta (Published May 26, 2020), University of Alberta

Video: IASP Webinar: Pain in Dementia (February 2023).