The aim of the research reported in this conference poster presentation was to assess the use of neuroleptics, sedatives and analgesics in patients with dementia at the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust. Drug charts of 51 patients were examined to identify if they had been prescribed any neuroleptics or sedatives. When analgesia was prescribed it involved paracetamol, with some patients also having codeine or butrans patch. There was a striking difference in the amount of analgesia prescribed between those patients who had been prescribed neuroleptic and sedative medications compared with those who had not.
The authors suggest regular paracetamol may be more effective in controlling behavioural symptoms than antipsychotics. This research broadly corroborates earlier research by Husebo, BS. Ballard, C. [and] Sandvik, R. [et al] (2011), conducted in a residential care home context. The topic of pain control as a safe alternative to the prescription of antipsychotics is an important area, where education of health professionals can improve treatment of pain and the behavioural symptoms in dementia.
Fernando, U. Leung, D. Jay, E. [and] Winter, R. (2012). Neuroleptic, sedative and analgesic prescription in dementia patients admitted into acute hospital. Poster presentation, given at the American Geriatric Society’s 24th Annual Fall Symposium; “The New Era of Alzheimer’s Disease: Best Practices from Prevention to Diagnosis and Care”, held in Chandler, Arizona, between October 25th – 27th 2012. Wolverhampton: Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, October 2012.
[A brief reference to this item features in Dementia and Elderly Care: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWNHST), Volume 3 Issue 5, January 2013].
OUCH!: Observe, Understand, Communicate and Help
Dementia experts at Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust launched their local “OUCH! Campaign” to raise awareness and recognition of untreated pain in dementia patients. This campaign surfaced during the 2018 Dementia Action Week. The “OUCH!” abbreviation / mnemonic is hoped to encourage staff in Observing, Understanding, Communicating and Helping, regarding people with dementia who may be experiencing pain.
There is a brief “Understanding Pain in Dementia” YouTube video.
Gathering momentum of influence:
Full Text Link (Note: This article requires a suitable Athens password, a journal subscription or payment for access).
Trueland, J. (2019). How to recognise and treat pain in someone with dementia. Nursing Standard. March 27th 2019; Vol.34(4), pp.52-55.