Wednesday, September 21st
4:30pm-6:00pm EDT


Topical Workshop


Pain in Special Populations


715 A

Pain Assessment in Dementia: Guidelines, Gaps, Automation and Knowledge Mobilization

Pain in people with serious limitations in ability to communicate due to dementia is highly prevalent but frequently undertreated. Despite recent developments in validated observational approaches to pain assessment in dementia, there remain implementation challenges as well as gaps in research knowledge and in continuing education for health care providers. In this session we will describe the state-of-the-art in specialized assessment tool development, including efforts to automatize pain assessment using computer vision. Moreover, emphasis will be placed on knowledge mobilization, designed to help overcome existing clinician continuing education and evidence-based assessment implementation challenges, including systematic evaluation of the reach and impact of the #SeePainMoreClearly pain in dementia knowledge dissemination campaign using a variety of social media platforms. We will offer practical advice on assessment tool selection and on effectively reaching stakeholders through knowledge mobilization.


4:30pm EDT6:00pm EDT

Automatic Pain Recognition Systems in Dementia: Are We There Yet?

Tracks: Pain In Special Populations
Categories: Topical Workshop
Presented By: Dr. Miriam Kunz

New methodological and technical advances, especially in machine learning, have paved the way for the development of automatic pain recognition systems. These systems hold the potential for continuous pain monitoring even in individuals with advanced stages of dementia who are not able to communicate pain verbally. In the last decade, several studies have been published that showed promising results, especially for the automatic detection of facial expressions of pain. However, most often these systems are trained with video material of young faces in ideal lightning conditions and with individuals often showing strong facial expressions, which limits the generalizability of the findings. Thus, in order to use these systems to validly assess clinical pain states in individuals with dementia, more research is still required. In this presentation, novel approaches will be presented that are especially tailored for the assessment of clinical pain in older individuals with dementia. These approaches range from automatic facial expression analyses to multi-model assessment of various pain behaviors of individuals with dementia in a living lab environment. Short video clips will be presented to better illustrate these new approaches.

4:30pm EDT6:00pm EDT

Mobilizing Knowledge About Pain in Dementia Using Social Media

Tracks: Pain In Special Populations
Categories: Topical Workshop

Traditional approaches to research knowledge mobilization (KM) (e.g., workshops, brochures, webinars), do not tend to succeed as most research findings never find their way into clinical practice. The minority of research findings, implemented into widespread practice, take an average of 17 years to get there. Older adults with severe dementia will not be around in 17 years to benefit from solutions that are available today. Based on the success of a previous social media KM effort in pediatric pain, we launched the #SeePainMoreClearly initiative to disseminate evidence-based information about pain in dementia to clinicians, informal caregivers and patients. We evaluated a 5-month pilot campaign, focused on Twitter and YouTube. We are now presenting new data on a year-long campaign involving a variety of platforms (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn) including web analytics (e.g., website visits, impressions, engagements, use of our hashtag, and video views), content analysis of posts in response to our content, questionnaires linked to our content, media stories, and interviews with people who engaged with us. Results show great reach (over 13,000,000 reached and 65,000 visited our resource website) and increased knowledge update by stakeholders. Recommendations, for launching successful KM campaigns via social media, will be provided.

4:30pm EDT6:00pm EDT

The State of the Art of Using Standardized Tools for Pain Assessment in Dementia

Tracks: Pain In Special Populations
Categories: Topical Workshop
Presented By: Dr. Keela Herr

With challenges in self-reporting the presence and impact of pain by persons with dementia, behavioral pain tools have been developed as one source of information for identifying pain presence and monitoring changes in pain. Related to that, recommendations for approaching pain recognition in this vulnerable population have been formulated. Over time, the number of different tools has expanded and undergone revision, while new meta-approaches have been developed. This presentation will review evolved and current state of pain assessment using behavioral tools and establish directions for next steps to improve recognition and treatment of pain in this population.


Dr. Thomas Hadjistavropoulos

Professor and Research Chair in Aging and Health
University of Regina

Dr. Keela Herr

Kelting Professor in Nursing; Associate Dean for Faculty
University of Iowa

Dr. Miriam Kunz

University of Augsburg