To ensure that people affected by dementia, their friends and families, and health professionals are familiar with the problem of pain undertreatment and its dire consequences for this population. We also want to familiarize health professionals and policy makers with cutting edge evidence-based solutions.
Dr. Thomas Hadjistavropoulos
Dr. Hadjistavropoulos is an international leader in the area of pain assessment in dementia and has shown leadership in the promotion of the health sciences at the local, national and international level. He is the Research Chair in Aging and Health, Director of the Centre on Aging and Health and Professor of Psychology at the University of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. He served as the 2007 President of the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA).
Our team is internationally renowned for developing and validating innovative approaches to the pain assessment of older persons who present with dementias and serious limitations in ability to communicate. As an example, the Pain Assessment Checklist for Seniors with Limited Ability to Communicate (PACSLAC and PACSLAC-II), developed by our team, has been translated in several languages and has been used around the world. Qualified health professionals interested in reproducing the PACSLAC-II for research or clinical practice, may request permission by contacting us. Permissions are granted free of charge for non-profit uses.
Furthermore, knowledge translation work has involved the development of a pain self-management program for seniors, which has been made available through the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP). We are also working with the AGE-WELL Network of Centres of Excellence toward the development of advanced technologies designed to automatically detect and monitor pain behaviours.
Social media campaign
In partnership with national and provincial organisations (e.g., AGE-WELL Network of Centres of Excellence, Canadian Association of Gerontology, Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan), older adults, caregivers, and health professionals, we launched a social media campaign #SeePainMoreClearly to increase awareness of the underassessment of pain in dementia and disseminate evidence-based practices. In addition, we prepared a short informational video that addresses this critical issue. The success and impact of our effort will be tracked systematically through questionnaires and other indicators such as YouTube views, hashtag mentions, media stories, Twitter impressions, and other related information.