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© 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.
Author(s): Geddis-Regan AR, Stewart M, Wassall RR
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Journal of Oral Rehabilitation
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.
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