BACKGROUND: Pain is a common problem but often undiagnosed and untreated in people with dementia.
AIMS: This study explored the experiences of residents with dementia, family, andformal carers with (1) pain assessment and management for residents with dementia; (2) the use of the PainChek app for pain assessment, and (3) the use of a social robot PARO for pain management in residents with dementia.
DESIGN: A qualitative study.
SETTINGS/PARTICIPANTS: Interviews were conducted with 13 residents withdementia, three family members, and 18 formal carers from a residential aged carefacility.
METHOD: Residents with dementia interacted with PARO for 15 mins, five days perweek for three weeks. The PainChek app assessed pain levels before and after eachsession. After three-week intervention, individual interviews were conducted withresidents, family, and formal carers who experienced or observed the use of PainChekapp and PARO for residents. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, andanalyzed using thematic analysis.
RESULTS: Four themes were identified regarding pain in residents with dementia: (1) the impact, challenges and strategies of pain assessment and management; (2) benefits and barriers of using PainChek app to assess pain; (3) benefits of interacting with PARO to manage pain and behavioral symptoms; and (4) implementing PainChek app and PARO to support pain assessment and management in dementia care.
CONCLUSIONS: Technology, such as PainChek and PARO, is promising to improve painassessment and reduce pain for people with dementia. Barriers to using technologyinclude limited staff training and the implementation of person-centered care.