Model of empathic pain assessment and treatment in persons with dementia

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Date of Original Version



The current article presents an evidence-based model for understanding clinical empathy’s relationship with the assessment and treatment of pain in persons with advanced dementia. A literature review informed creation of an interdisciplinary conceptual framework of clinician empathy in pain assessment and treatment among persons with advanced dementia. Driven by observation of behaviors indicat-ing pain in persons with dementia unable to self-report, the model represents the cognitive, affective, ethical, and behavioral components of clinical empathy involved in assessing and treating pain, relevant patient outcomes, and contextual factors influencing empathy and outcomes; and provides a framework for testing clinical empathy interventions to improve adverse outcomes in persons with advanced de-mentia. Understanding the relationship between clinician empathy and the assessment and treatment of pain in persons with advanced dementia may improve care quality and help reduce pain behaviors in this patient population. This model may be used to inform pain research in persons with dementia and develop clinical interventions and clinician education programs.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Research in Gerontological Nursing