Interventions targeting pain or behaviour in dementia: A systematic review

M.J.C. Pieper, A.H. van Dalen-Kok, A.L. Francke, J.T. van der Steen, E.J.A. Scherder, B.S. Husebo, W.P. Achterberg

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Background: Both pain and challenging behaviour are highly prevalent in dementia, and multiple studies show that some of these behaviours may be correlated. Pain, especially in non-communicative patients, can cause challenging behaviour, and treatment of pain therefore may have an effect on behaviour. This review aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the current state of evidence regarding the effectiveness of interventions targeting pain on the outcome behaviour, and interventions targeting behaviour on pain, in dementia. Method: PubMed (MEDLINE), EMBASE, COCHRANE, CINAHL, PsychINFO and Web of Science were searched systematically. Studies were included if they focused on an intervention targeting a reduction in the person's distress, pain, and/or behaviour, and included adults with a main diagnosis of dementia. Results: Of a total of 893 potentially relevant publications that were identified, 16 publications met the inclusion criteria and were eligible for further analysis; 6 studies focused on a pain intervention targeting behaviour, 1 study focused on a behavioural intervention targeting pain, and 9 studies focused on an intervention targeting both pain and behaviour. Conclusion: Available evidence suggests that (pain) interventions targeting behaviour, and (behavioural) interventions targeting pain are effective in reducing pain and behavioural symptoms in dementia. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1042-1055
Number of pages14
JournalAgeing Research Reviews
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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