Instruments for assessing pain in persons with severe dementia

Views & Reviews
Dement Neuropsychol 2014 June;8(2):99-106
Instruments for assessing pain in
persons with severe dementia
Natália Lindemann Carezzato1, Gabriela Gallego Valera2,
Francisco Assis Carvalho Vale3, Priscilla Hortense4
ABSTRACT. Through an integrative literature review involving the CINAHL, Cochrane, Embase, LILACS, PsycINFO, PubMed
databases, tools available in the literature for assessing pain in individuals with severe dementia were identified along with
versions validated for use in Brazil. We found 1501 relevant articles which, after selection of abstracts and full reading,
yielded a final sample of 33 articles. The analysis enabled the identification of 12 instruments: ABBEY PAIN SCALE; ADD;
CNPI; CPAT; DOLOPLUS-2; MOBID and MOBID-2; MPS; NOPPAIN; PACSLAC; PADE; PAINAD and PAINE. Despite the wide
variety of tools for assessing pain in individuals with severe dementia worldwide, it was observed that only four are available
in Portuguese, of which two are culturally adapted for Brazilian Portuguese (NOPPAIN and PACSLAC) and two validated for
Portuguese of Portugal (DOLOPLUS and PAINAD), pointing to the need for further validation of instruments for use in Brazil.
Key words: pain, dementia, pain measurement, validation studies.
INSTRUMENTOS DE AVALIAÇÃO DA DOR EM PESSOAS COM DEMÊNCIA GRAVE
RESUMO. Por meio de revisão integrativa de literatura, realizada nas bases de dados CINAHL, Cochrane, Embase, LILACS,
PsycINFO, PubMed, foram identificados os instrumentos disponíveis na literatura que avaliam a dor em pessoas com
demência grave e quais desses instrumentos têm versão validada no nosso país. Foram encontrados 1501 artigos, e, após
seleção dos resumos e leitura na íntegra, a amostra final constituiu-se de 33 artigos. A análise possibilitou identificar 12
instrumentos: ABBEY PAIN SCALE; ADD; CNPI; CPAT; DOLOPLUS-2; MOBID e MOBID-2; MPS; NOPPAIN; PACSLAC; PADE;
PAINAD e PAINE. Apesar de ampla variedade de instrumentos de avaliação de dor em pessoas com demência grave no
mundo, observou-se que apenas quatro instrumentos estão disponíveis em português, sendo dois adaptados culturamente
para o português brasileiro (NOPPAIN e PACSLAC) e dois instrumentos validados para o português de Portugal (DOLOPLUS
e PAINAD), o que sugere a necessidade de validação de mais instrumentos no nosso país.
Palavras-chave: dor, demência, medição da dor, estudos de validação.
INTRODUCTION
P
ain is defined as “An unpleasant sensory
and emotional experience associated with
actual or potential tissue damage, or described
in terms of such damage”, characterized by
the context and perception of its meaning.1
In the course of dementia, sufferers may
no longer interpret sensations, often because
they are unable to recall their pain or verbally
communicate it to their caregivers. In view of
the definition for pain1 and considering it is a
subjective experience, the non-verbalization
of pain further hampers its detection and
measurement, rendering the assessment of
pain a challenge.2-7
In moderate and severe dementia processes, non-verbal expressions and behavioral changes become more frequent, some of
which may indicate pain symptoms. In these
cases, social withdrawal, aggressivity, psychomotor agitation or mood swings may be
signs of the presence of pain.8,9 The absence
of reports of pain should not be interpreted
as the absence of pain in elderly patients with
Resident Nurse in Nursing in Health of Adults and Elderly - UNICAMP, Campinas SP, Brazil. Bachelor and Licentiate degree in Nursing from the Federal University
of São Carlos, Center for Biological Science and Health/Department of Nursing, São Carlos SP, Brazil. 2Nurse, Master’s in Nursing. Center for Biological Science
and Health/Department of Nursing - Federal University of São Carlos, São Carlos SP, Brazil. 3Medical Doctor, PhD in Neurology/Neurosciences, Associate Professor. Center for Biological Science and Health/Department of Medicine - Federal University of São Carlos, São Carlos SP, Brazil. 4Nurse, PhD in Nursing, Associate
Professor. Center for Biological Science and Health/Department of Nursing - Federal University of São Carlos, São Carlos SP, Brazil.
1
Natália Lindemann Carezzato. Rua da Aspereza, 148 – 05180-030 São Paulo SP – Brazil. E-mail: [email protected]
Disclosure: The authors report no conflicts of interest.
Received March 26, 2014. Accepted in final form May 27, 2014.
Carezzato NL, et al. Assessment of pain in severe dementia
99
Dement Neuropsychol 2014 June;8(2):99-106
cognitive impairments. Thus, evaluations of pain must
be undertaken.10
Another aggravating factor is that behavioral changes
in patients with severe dementia can often be regarded
by health professionals as symptoms of cognitive or psychiatric decline, leading to a neglect of the diagnosis and
treatment of pain in older adults with dementia.5,10,11
Conversely, attribution of pain systems to manifestations of restlessness, agitation or aggressivity may induce inappropriate over prescription of antipsychotics,
tranquillizers, sedatives and other psychotropic drugs.
Prompted by this worrying scenario, studies have
sought solutions toward improved management of pain
in this fragile population in the form of devising specific instruments for identifying and measuring pain in
non-communicative patients.7 These tools are essential
in the clinical setting for identifying interventions and
efficacy of strategies, thereby preventing erroneous
interpretation by professionals and resulting in better
management of pain.9,10
In view of this need, measuring instruments are key
elements in refining the communication interface between those feeling and those treating pain. It is clear
that the success of assessing pain in elderly with dementia hinges on the development and implementation of
an adequate instrument for use in this population.11
Based on this perspective, the aim of the present
study was to identify the instruments available in the
literature assessing pain in persons with severe dementia and to determine which of these instruments have
Portuguese versions validated for use in Brazil.
METHODS
An integrative review of the literature was carried out
entailing five stages: identification of the relevant question; search and selection of relevant articles; categorizing of studies (data collection); analysis and interpretation of the data; summarizing of the knowledge
gleaned.12,13 Performed between September 2012 and
December 2013, the integrative review of the literature was based on the following constraining questions:
“What instruments are available in the literature assessing pain in persons with severe dementia?” and “Which
of these instruments assessing pain in persons with
severe dementia are validated for the Portuguese language?”. A search of articles of interest was performed
on the following electronic data-bases: CINAHL, Cochrane, Embase, LILACS, PsycINFO and PubMed.
The descriptors chosen for searching the articles
were extracted from the DeCS (Descriptors in Health
Sciences) and from the MeSH (Medical Subject Head-
100 Assessment of pain in severe dementia Carezzato NL, et al.
ings), and were “demência” (dementia) and “avaliação
da dor” (assessment of pain) for searches on LILACS
and “pain”, “dementia”, “cognitive impairment”, “evaluation studies”, and “validation studies” for searches on CINAHL, Cochrane, Embase, PsycINFO and PubMed.
The selection of articles covered all publications
available up to 2013. The inclusion criteria adopted
were: articles whose abstracts indicated the study of
instruments for assessing pain in persons with severe
dementia; original articles in human subjects aged 18
years or older with a medical diagnosis of severe dementia; articles written in English. Portuguese or Spanish
languages. The exclusion criteria adopted were: articles
whose full versions were not available online or in libraries to which the researchers had access.
All articles selected were read in full. After the reading process, data collection based on the defining question was performed, followed by summary and analysis
of the data collected on the tools and their validation.
RESULTS
A total of 1501 articles were retrieved. Duplicate studies
found in more than one database, or by different crossreferences of descriptors, were included only once. Thus,
of the articles originally retrieved and subsequently preselected for final reading, a total of 33 articles remained
(Table 1).
Analysis of the results obtained in the literature review revealed 12 instruments, published between 1999
and 2012, shown in Table 2.
The following instruments were identified: Abbey
Pain Scale, original in English,18 translated to the Japanese version;36 ADD, original in English;14,42 CNPI,38,42
original in English;46 CPAT, original in English;30,33 DOLOPLUS-2,47 original in French (DOLOPLUS®, first version 1993),48 translated to versions in Norwegian,19,25,
Dutch,22 Italian,35, Portuguese,35 English,35 Spanish,35
Dutch,35 Japanese39 and Chinese;40 MOBID27,34 and MOBID-2,41 original in English; MPS, original in English;31
NOPPAIN,24,42 original in English,49 translated into Italian32 and Portuguese;45 PACSLAC,42,44 original in English,17 translated into Dutch version in original form,22
short version26 and into Portuguese;5 PADE,42 original
in English;16 PAINAD,20,23,38,42 original in English,15 translated into version in Dutch,22 German,28 Chinese,37 Italian29 and Portuguese from Portugal;43 PAINE, original
in English.21 Summary data outlining each instrument
found are given below.
Abbey Pain Scale. Assesses vocalization, facial expression,
changes in body language, behavioral changes, psycho-
Dement Neuropsychol 2014 June;8(2):99-106
Table 1. Results of database searches according to cross-references between descriptors and by stage of selection of scientific output investigating instruments
for assessing pain in persons with severe dementia.
Database Cross-reference operations
CINAHL
Articles
retrieved
(n=1501)
Articles
selected
by abstract
(n=125)
Duplicate
articles
excluded
(n=61)
Articles
read
in full
(n=64)
Articles
selected
(n=33)
164
36
23
13
6
468
7
0
7
0
76
7
3
4
1
344
30
0
30
22
156
19
13
6
1
293
26
22
4
3
Pain AND Dementia AND Validation
Pain AND Dementia AND Evaluation
Pain AND Cognitive impairment AND Evaluation
Cochrane
Pain AND Dementia AND Validation studies
Pain AND Dementia AND Evaluation studies
Pain AND Cognitive impairment AND Evaluation
EMBASE
Pain AND Dementia AND Validation study
Pain AND Dementia AND Evaluation
Pain AND Cognitive defect AND Evaluation
LILACS
Demência (Dementia) AND Avaliação da dor (Pain assessment)
PsycINFO
Pain AND Dementia AND Validation
Pain AND Dementia AND Evaluation
Pain AND Cognitive impairment AND Evaluation
PUBMED
Pain AND Dementia AND Validation studies
Pain AND Dementia AND Evaluation studies
Pain AND Cognitive impairment AND Evaluation
logical changes and physical changes. Severity of pain is
assessed individually for each of its 6 items.18,36
Checklist of Nonverbal Pain Indicator (CNPI). Comprising the
items vocalization, facial expression, stimulus, friction,
agitation and verbal complaints, which are marked as
“present” or “absent” under two conditions: in movement or at rest.38,42
extending and bending of knees and hip joints, rolling
to each side and sitting on the edge of the bed. All the
movements are performed one at a time gently by the
nursing team and stopped immediately if pain behavior
is noted. Three indicators of pain behavior are recorded by the nurse: pain utterances, facial expression and
defense.27,34
MOBID-2. Is an extended version of two parts of the MO-
Comprising the categories: facial expression, behavior,
mood, body language and activity level. If scoring positive, subsequent assessment of pain is required, where
the health professional is responsible for indicating the
action to be taken.30,33
BID instrument. The first part consists of performing
of five guided movement items from the MOBID. The
second part includes the reporting by the caregiver on
pain originating from the head, mouth and neck; heart,
lungs and chest wall, abdomen; pelvis and genital organs, and lastly, the skin.41
DOLOPLUS-2. Consisting of 10 items, divided into three
Mahoney Pain Scale (MPS). This instrument comprises an
groups, namely, somatic reaction, psychometric reaction and psychosocial reaction. This instrument assesses the progression of the pain experience.19,22,25,35,39,40
assessment of the items facial expression, breathing,
vocalization, body language, signs of agitation in behavior, signs of changes in sleep/appetite, symptoms and
changes in vital parameters, and history of pain. Besides
assessing the severity of pain, the scale can differentiate
between pain and agitation. It also allows pain to be located on a pain map, with patients observed preferably
at rest. Raters are instructed to inspect and lightly touch
22 areas marked on a drawing of the human body on a
Certified Nursing Assistant Pain Assessment Tool (CPAT).
Mobilization - Observation - Behavior - Intensity - Dementia Pain
Scale (MOBID). This instrument assesses nociceptive pain
during guided movements of the trunk and extremities.
Five items of active movements are observed: opening
of both hands, lifting of both arms towards the head,
Carezzato NL, et al. Assessment of pain in severe dementia 101
Dement Neuropsychol 2014 June;8(2):99-106
Table 2. Adaptation/validation studies of instruments for assessing pain in persons with severe dementia by author/year, journal of publication, instruments
assessed/acronym, instrument language, and confirmed psychometric tests.
Author/Year
Instruments
Instrument
language
Confirmed
psychometric tests
Kovach et al., 199914
• Assessment of Discomfort in Dementia (ADD)
English
• Inter-rater Reliability
Warden et al., 200315
• Pain Assessment in Advanced Dementia (PAINAD)
English
• Internal Reliability
• Construct Validity
Villanueva et al., 200316
• Pain Assessment for the Dementing Elderly (PADE)
English
• Internal Reliability
• Inter-rater Reliability
• Test-Retest Reliability
• Construct Validity
• Criteria Validity
Fuchs-Lacelle;
Hadjistavropoulos, 200417
• Pain Assessment Checklist for Seniors with Limited Ability to Communicate
(PACSLAC)
English
• Inter-rater Reliability
• Internal Reliability
• Concurrent Validity
Abbey et al., 200418
• Abbey Pain Scale
English
• Apparent Validity
• Content Validity
• Concurrent Validity
• Internal Reliability
• Inter-rater Reliability
• DOLOPLUS-2
Norwegian
• Criteria Validity;
Hutchison et al., 2006
• Pain Assessment in Advanced Dementia (PAINAD)
English
• Not performed;
Cohen-Mansfield, 200621
• Pain Assessment in Noncommunicative Elderly persons (PAINE)
English
• Internal Reliability
• Inter-rater Reliability
• Test-Retest Reliability
• Criteria Validity
Zwakhalen et al., 200622
• Pain Assessment in Advanced Dementia (PAINAD)
• Pain Assessment Checklist for Seniors with Limited Ability to Communicate
(PACSLAC)
• DOLOPLUS-2
Dutch
• Internal Reliability
• Intra- and Inter-rater
Reliability
• Convergent Validity
Leong et al., 200623
• Pain Assessment in Advanced Dementia (PAINAD)
English
• Divergent Validity
• Concurrent Validity
Horgas et al., 200724
• Non-Communicative Patient’s Pain Assessment Instrument (NOPPAIN)
English
• Intra- and Inter-rater
Reliability
• Convergent Validity
Holen et al., 200725
• DOLOPLUS-2
Norwegian
• Test-Retest Reliability
• Inter-rater Reliability
Zwakhalen et al., 200726
• Pain Assessment Checklist for Seniors with Limited Ability to Communicate
(PACSLAC)
Dutch
• Internal Reliability
Husebo et al., 200727
• Mobilization-Observation-Behavior-Intensity-Dementia Pain Scale (MOBID)
English
• Internal Reliability
• Inter-rater Reliability
• Apparent Validity
• Construct Validity
Schuler et al., 200728
• Pain Assessment in Advanced Dementia (PAINAD-G)
German
• Internal Reliability
• Inter-rater Reliability
Costardi et al., 200729
• Pain Assessment in Advanced Dementia (PAINAD-I)
Italian
• Internal Reliability
• Inter-rater Reliability
• Test-Retest Reliability
• Concurrent Validity
• Construct Validity
Cervo et al., 200730
• CNA* Pain Assessment Tool (CPAT)
English
• Not performed
Mahoney et al., 2008
• Mahoney Pain Scale (MPS)
English
• Inter-rater Reliability
• Internal Reliability
• Construct Validity
• Concurrent Validity
• Clinical Feasibility
Ferrari et al., 200932
• Non-Communicative Patient’s Pain Assessment Instrument (NOPPAIN)
Italian
• Inter-rater Reliability
• Concurrent Validity
• Convergent Validity
Holen et al., 200519
20
31
102 Assessment of pain in severe dementia Carezzato NL, et al.
Dement Neuropsychol 2014 June;8(2):99-106
Table 2. Continuation.
Author/Year
Instruments
Instrument
language
Confirmed
psychometric tests
Cervo et al., 200933
• CNA* Pain Assessment Tool (CPAT)
English
• Inter-rater Reliability
• Test-Retest Reliability
• Internal Reliability
• Apparent Validity
• Construct Validity
• Criteria Validity
• Clinical Feasibility
Husebo et al., 200934
• Mobilization-Observation-Behaviour-Intensity-Dementia Pain Scale (MOBID)
English
• Intra- and Inter-rater
Zreliability
Pickering et al., 200935
• DOLOPLUS®
Italian
Portuguese (PT)
English
Spanish
Dutch
• Test-Retest Reliability
• Inter-rater Reliability
Takai et al., 201036
• Abbey Pain Scale (J)
Japanese
• Internal Reliability
• Test-Retest Reliability
• Criteria Validity
• Construct Validity
Lin et al., 201037
• Pain Assessment in Advanced Dementia (PAINAD-C)
Chinese
• Inter-rater Reliability
• Internal Reliability
• Test-Retest Reliability
• Content Validity
• Construct Validity
Ersek et al., 201038
• Checklist of Nonverbal Pain Indicators (CNPI)
• Pain Assessment in Advanced Dementia (PAINAD)
English
• Internal Reliability
• Inter-rater Reliability
• Construct Validity
Ando; Hishinuma, 201039
• DOLOPLUS-2
Japanese
• Inter-rater Reliability
• Apparent Validity
Chen et al., 201040
• DOLOPLUS-2
Chinese
• Internal Reliability
• Inter-rater Reliability
• Construct Validity
• Clinical Feasibility
Husebo et al., 201041
• Mobilization-Observation-Behaviour-Intensity-Dementia Pain Scale (MOBID-2)
English
• Test-Retest Reliability
• Inter-rater Reliability
• Internal Reliability
• Apparent Validity
• Construct Validity
• Concurrent Validity
Lorenzet et al., 20115
• Pain Assessment Checklist for Seniors with Limited Ability to Communicate
(PACSLAC)
Portuguese (BR)
• Content Validity
Lints-Martindale et al.,
201242
• Assessment of Discomfort in Dementia (ADD)
• Checklist of Nonverbal Pain Indicators (CNPI)
• Pain Assessment Checklist for Seniors with Limited Ability to Communicate
(PACSLAC)
• Pain Assessment for the Dementing Elderly (PADE)
• Pain Assessment in Advanced Dementia (PAINAD)
• Non-communicative Patient’s Pain Assessment Instrument (NOPPAIN)
English
• Internal Reliability
• Inter-rater Reliability
• Construct Validity
Batalha et al., 201243
• Pain Assessment in Advanced Dementia (PAINAD-PT)
Portuguese (PT)
• Internal Reliability
• Inter-rater Reliability
• Construct Validity
Zwakhalen et al., 201244
• Pain Assessment Checklist for Seniors with Limited Ability to Communicate
(PACSLAC-D)
Dutch
• Clinical Feasibility.
De Araújo; Pereira, 201245
• Non-communicative Patient’s Pain Assessment Instrument (NOPPAIN)
Portuguese (BR)
• Content Validity
* CNA: Certified Nursing Assistant.
Carezzato NL, et al. Assessment of pain in severe dementia 103
Dement Neuropsychol 2014 June;8(2):99-106
Table 3. Characterization of instruments adapted and validated for Portuguese (BR, PT) found by integrative review of the literature.
Article country/
Instrument language
Application of adapted
instrument (N)
Psychometric
properties attained
Yes
57 elderly with communication
disorders, with or without
suspected pain and behavioral
change were inclusion criteria
ICC: inter-rater=0.95
ICC: test-retest=0.95
r: inter-rater=0.97
r: test-retest=0.99
Brazil/Portuguese (BR)
No, only cultural
adaption performed
---
---
Portugal/Portuguese (PT)
Yes
99 elderly incapable of
self-assessment
(with or without dementia)
Cronbach’s α =0.84
ICC: inter-rater=0.89
Total variance=61.1%
Brazil/Portuguese (BR)
No, only cultural
adaption performed
---
---
Instrument
Author/Year
DOLOPLUS
Pickering et al., 2009
France/Portuguese (PT)
PACSLAC
Lorenzet et al., 20115
PAINAD
Batalha et al., 201243
NOPPAIN
De Araújo; Pereira,
201245
35
Psychometric test
performed on final
version?
BR: Brazil; ICC: Intraclass correlation coefficient; PT: Portugal; r: Pearson’s correlation coefficient.
sheet (front and back) and place an “x” alongside points
where a behavioral response or signs of pathology were
noted.
bility. Each is organized into three subcategories with
behavioral descriptors allowing the recognition of the
presence of pain or normality.15,20,22,23,28,29,37,38,42,43
Non-communicative Patient’s Pain Assessment Instrument
(NOPPAIN). This measures pain based on interpretation
Pain Assessment in Noncommunicative Elderly persons (PAINE).
of the behaviors the patient expresses. The instrument
consists of four sections comprising: nine figures showing situations of daily care; six figures showing pain behaviors; pain intensity for each behavior observed; and
a figure of a descriptive scale of subjective intensity. The
observer first indicates which care procedures are performed followed by the pain behaviors observed, along
with the intensity of each.24,32,42,45
Pain Assessment Checklist for Seniors with Limited Ability to
Communicate (PACSLAC). This is divided into 4 subscales: fa-
cial expressions (13 items); body activity/movement (20
items); social/personality/mood indicators (12 items);
physiological indicators/feeding/sleep changes, and vocal behaviors (15 items).5,17,22,26,42,44
Pain Assessment for the Dementing Elderly (PADE). This as-
sessment has three parts: physical (observable facial
expression, breathing pattern and posture); global assessment, allowing the caregiver to give an overall pain
rating for the patient under their care and for activities
of daily living (getting dressed, feeding, transfer from
bed to wheelchair).16,42
Pain Assessment in Advanced Dementia (PAINAD). compris-
ing 5 categories of behavior: breathing, negative vocalization, facial expression, body language and consola104 Assessment of pain in severe dementia Carezzato NL, et al.
This is a 22-item instrument. The first 15 items are distributed into 4 subgroups: specific motor repetitive behaviors (facial distortions, restlessness, among others),
specific vocal repetitive behaviors (moaning, crying,
screaming, among others), unusual behaviors (posture,
apathy, rigidity, among others) and those related to
activities (music, arts, among others). The other seven
clinical indicators include falls, trembling, changes in vital signs, edema, blood stains, and broken bones.21
Assessment of Discomfort in Dementia (ADD). This assess-
ment was devised to recognize and aid the treatment of
physical and affective discomfort as well as pain in patients with dementia. The most recent version has 5 categories: facial expressions, mood, body language, voice
and behavior. After assessment, recommendations for
interventions are provided.14,42
A wide variety of instruments were found for assessing pain in persons with severe dementia. However, only
two of these instruments have been culturally adapted
for Brazilian Portuguese (the PACSLAC5 and NOPPAIN45) and two previously validated for Portuguese of
Portugal (DOLOPLUS35 and PAINAD43 (Table 3).
DISCUSSION
The instruments found incorporated observational
parameters indicative of pain, the most important of
which were: changes in facial expression, breathing,
Dement Neuropsychol 2014 June;8(2):99-106
vocalization, mood, body language or body movement
and activity level. Another less frequent yet important
observational parameter indicative of pain was consolability. The studies centered on the criteria of applicability for assessing pain in elderly with severe dementia
and on the evaluation of the psychometric properties of
the instruments, observed based on the behavior of the
subjects assessed.
In fact, identifying pain in individuals with severe
cognitive impairment and language deficits involves the
collection of different types of information from various
sources. The pain behaviors presented by individuals
with dementia can vary according to the level of activity.9
The majority of the tools found in this study adopted
the group of orientations for assessing pain in verbally
non-communicative patients,50 incorporating six behavioral indicators of pain: facial expressions, verbalizations or vocalizations, body movements, changes in interpersonal interactions, changes in patterns of activity
and changes in mental state.
Using measuring instruments to assess pain is a
systematic process through which pain is recognized,
assessed, documented and reassessed, resulting in improved pain control for all patients, particularly older
adults with cognitive impairment. Measuring instruments are key elements in refining the communication
between those feeling and those treating pain. It is clear
that the success of assessing pain in elderly with demen-
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tia hinges on the development and implementation of
an adequate assessment tool for use in this population.11
In a clinical setting, accurate assessment of pain by
measuring instruments, is fundamental for planning
appropriate interventions (a key component of health
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Given that pain numbers among the main factors
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