Dementia is a progressive disease of the brain leading to reduced functional capacity of cognition, memory, orientation, comprehension, learning, language and judgement. All of these inherent issues make pain assessment and management for people living with Dementia very difficult and complex. It’s been estimated that 50% of people living in residential facilities are living with some form of Dementia, making pain management a significant and challenging issue, with the scale of the challenge increasing as our population ages over coming decades.
It’s not been established that dementia causes pain, however because the majority of sufferers are elderly they are subject to a range of other conditions that can generate pain both chronic and acute, such as arthritis, osteoarthritis, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, cancer, angina, infections, migraines, and more increasing the likelihood they will experience some level of pain.
The detrimental impact of this pain effects all aspects of their quality of life- physical, psychological, social and spiritual and also adversely affects their care-givers and healthcare professionals, making quality pain management in people living with dementia critical.
People living with Dementia have limited ability to reliably self-report their pain experience, it’s severity, location or persistence, making pain assessment very subjective. Pain is also often misunderstood, being expressed in specific behaviours, such as agitation or withdrawal, that might imitate psychiatric conditions, particularly in more severe stages of dementia. Neuropathological changes that occur with Dementia can also have the effect of changing pain perceptions, pain thresholds, and how people living with Dementia react to pain medications, with differences experienced between differing forms of dementia and people. As a result, serious difficulties in detecting pain are experienced and most commonly used assessment tools are neither valid nor reliable and are subsequently underutilised by carers. Pain can often go unrecognised, and subsequently under-treated.
Procura’s Pain Management Software powered by PainChek improves pain management for people living with Dementia: –
Procura’s Pain Management Software powered by PainChek provides carers with the ability to identify the presence of pain, quantify the severity of pain, and monitor the effectiveness of pain management.
The PainChek APP integrates with Procura’s next generation Clinical Care Management System maximising the benefits of PainChek and providing a revolutionary tool to help give a voice to those who cannot verbalise their pain levels, transforming pain management.
Utilising artificial intelligence, PainChek applies facial recognition analytics, automatically recognising facial muscle movements that indicate pain and taking note of them. Next, the PainChek® app guides caregivers to record observations of other accepted indicators of pain related behaviours such as how the person is moving and vocalising pain and completes the assessment, achieving a total pain score. The results are recorded and stored allowing the caregiver to monitor the effect of medication and treatment over time to optimise this process and ensure the best outcomes for the resident/patient. Procura’s Pain Management powered by PainChek enables pain management strategies to be implemented, and improves the accuracy of pain level assessments.