Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Assessment of Pain in adults with cognitive impairment : a review of the tools

By Pat Schofield, Amanda Clarke, Mark Faulkner, Tony Ryan, Margaret Dunham and Amanda Howarth


The aim of this paper is to discuss the results of a review into the literature related to chronic pain and the older adult. Several themes within the review have been identified and reported elsewhere and the final report has been published by the University of Sheffield in the form of an annotated bibliography. This report focuses upon the findings of the in relation to the assessment of pain in the adult with cognitive impairment. Issues surrounding assessment in the non-cognitively impaired older adult have also been reported elsewhere. For this paper nine studies will be discussed which report the development and testing of pain assessment scales the focus of which is upon behavioural indicators of pain. Some scales have been omitted from the review and the rationale for this decision will be discussed. Each of the selected scales will be discussed and the authors will make recommendations for both clinical practice and for future research based upon the validity, reliability and user friendliness of the scales. From the paper it can be concluded that the Abbey, DOLOPLUS-2 and PACSLAC appear to be the most reliable and valid and in terms of the “user friendliness” would be appropriate to explore further. Recommendations are made for further multi-centre evaluation of these scales.University of Sheffiel

Topics: assessment, older people, behavioural scales, assessment tools, pain, United Kingdom
Publisher: Freund
Year: 2005
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (2004). An exploration of seniors ability to report pain.
  2. (2004). The Abbey pain scale: a 1-minute numerical indicator for people with end stage dementia. International Journal of Palliative Nursing.

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.