Background: Among cognitively intact patients, self- and caregiver report of patient pain has been associated with worse psychological health for both the patient and caregiver. Little existing research examines factors associated with patient self-report of pain and caregiver report of patient pain among community-dwelling persons with dementia. Objective: To identify patient and caregiver factors associated with self- and caregiver report of patient pain among community-dwelling persons with dementia. Design: Cross-sectional analysis of a longitudinal study using structured interviews with dementia patients and their family caregivers. Setting and subjects: Urban outpatient geriatrics clinics affiliated with a university hospital. Dyads composed of dementia patients and their family caregivers were approached prior to routine clinic visits to participate in the study. Measurements: Relevant patient measurements included self-report of pain; cognitive, functional, and comorbidity assessments; a screen for depression; and demographic information. Relevant caregiver measurements included their report of patient pain and agitation, screens for depression and strain, and demographic information. Results: Of 115 dyads, 37 patients (32%) and 57 caregivers (53%) reported the patient to be in pain. No patient or caregiver factors were significantly associated with patient self-report of pain. In the univariate analysis, caregiver reports of patient pain were associated with the patient not being depressed (p = .036), caregiver reports of patient agitation (p = .038), higher level of education in the caregiver (p = .029), and caregiver depression (p = .019). In multivariate logistic regression analyses, caregiver depression and patient agitation remained significantly associated with caregiver report of patient pain. Conclusions: In community-dwelling persons with dementia, self-report of pain was not associated with any other variables measured, suggesting that pain should be assessed through direct self-report and treated accordingly. Caregiver report of patient pain was associated with both caregiver report of patient agitation and caregiver depression. These findings suggest that clinicians may need to routinely assess patient pain, patient agitation, and caregiver depression. More research is needed to understand the relationship between these conditions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine