Pain assessment in older adults with dementia: using behavioral observation methods in clinical practice.
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Pain assessment in older adults with dementia recently has received considerable attention from both researchers and clinicians as evidenced by a surge of published behavioral observation tools for pain assessment in this vulnerable population. These behavioral observation methods offer a promising strategy to improve pain assessment in older adults who are not able to communicate their pain verbally. However, some concerns exist related to the interpretation and clinical utility of these methods for decision making related to pain management interventions. This article provides an overview of the general state of knowledge on the use of behavioral observation methods in older adults and discusses the use of such methods to guide decision making in clinical settings.
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