Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Orofacial pain assessment and management for patients with dementia: A meta-ethnography

Lookup NU author(s): Andrew Geddis-ReganORCiD, Dr Rebecca WassallORCiD


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


© 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd Delivering dental treatment for patients with dementia can be challenging, and the complexity of treatment provision can increase as dementia progresses. Treatment at the later stages of dementia can be associated with ethical challenges and procedural risk meaning that a comprehensive patient assessment is crucial; the presence of orofacial pain is a key indication for active intervention from dental teams. To explore the process of oro-facial pain assessment and management, a comprehensive review of qualitative literature was undertaken by searching six electronic databases. No literature specific to orofacial pain assessment was identified. The inclusion criteria were widened to explore assessment and management of pain in general for patients with dementia. Meta-ethnography with reciprocal translation was used to identify key concepts and themes and synthesise information applicable to the dental setting. Three major themes arose as follows: challenges with pain assessment, challenges with pain management and logistics and education. Healthcare teams struggle with pain identification in patients with dementia though many signs were identified which may suggest a patient is experiencing pain. The long-term knowledge of individual patients held by family members and care teams can allow identification of deviation from patients’ normal states; this knowledge can assist healthcare professionals in determining whether to provide specific treatments or interventions. Pain assessment tools were found to be problematic and are unlikely to be a practical solution to use for complex patients in dental settings. Education for dental and wider care teams on orofacial pain would be highly valuable; yet, this needs to be based on suitable evidence.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Geddis-Regan AR, Stewart M, Wassall RR

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Oral Rehabilitation

Year: 2018

Volume: 46

Issue: 2

Pages: 189-199

Print publication date: 01/02/2019

Online publication date: 11/10/2018

Acceptance date: 11/09/2018

ISSN (print): 0305-182X

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2842

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1111/joor.12732


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric