Pain Assessment in Older Persons with Dementia

12:00pm-1:30pm, Oct 19, 2018

Rudy North Lecture Theatre, Lower Level, Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health
BC Pain Research Network and Re-Imagine Aging

Despite its high prevalence, pain in older adults is often undertreated. This is especially true among seniors with severe dementia who reside in long-term care (LTC) facilities.  Limitations in ability to self-report pain that accompany moderate to severe dementia contribute to pain under-treatment in LTC populations.  Recent advances involving the systematic observation of pain behaviours have led to effective clinical assessment of pain in this population, although human resource constraints limit the implementation of systematic behavioural pain assessment.

The presentation will focus on the evidence-based behavioural assessment of pain in dementia as well as on recent work toward the development of automated pain assessment methods using computer vision technologies.  Technology development in this area has the potential of addressing human resource limitations and of accomplishing continuous monitoring of pain behaviours in older adults with severe limitations in ability to communicate. 


Thomas Hadjistavropoulos is Professor of Psychology, University of Regina, and Past-President of the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA). He is internationally recognized as an authority on pain among seniors and on ethical issues in health care with his methodologies now being applied by researchers and clinicians all over the world. He has shown leadership in the promotion of the health sciences at the local, national and international level and has been honoured through a long list of awards and distinctions including a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Investigator Award, a Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation Achievement Award and many others.


The Colloquium will be followed by a RECEPTION for members, trainees of the BC Pain Research Network, Re-Imagine Aging, and guests.

The reception will be held from 1:30 – 3:30 pm upstairs in Room 3402A/B/C of the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health.

Please RSVP for the reception to Stacey Herzer at