Physiotherapist’s challenges in the assessment and management of pain for people with dementia in acute hospitals

Karmen Harvey, Toby Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this short paper was to explore the challenges of pain assessment and management for people with dementia.

In this paper, the reader is introduced to the challenges which physiotherapists face working in the community, care homes, health clinics and hospitals where people with dementia live and attend. The paper explores some of the known problems in both the detection and then treatment of pain for people with dementia. An overview of the strengths and limitations of the evidence is made. Finally, clinical and research recommendations are made to ensure the reader is able to use the findings of this paper to better understand the challenges physiotherapists face in treating pain for people living with dementia.

By better understanding what is known and what is less clearly understood about the assessment and management of pain for people with dementia, physiotherapists may be in a strong position to understand the evidence base surrounding this health challenge. Through this, the paper provides a spring-board to increase the awareness of pain management for a growing population across Europe as well as globally.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysiotherapy Review
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 29 Mar 2022


  • Pain
  • Cognitive Impairment
  • Dementia
  • Older People
  • Evaluation
  • Treatment

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