Evaluation of pain in patient with cognitive impairment in emergency-urgency departments: a narrative review of the literature

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Introduction: it is often difficult to correctly assess pain in patients with cognitive impairment in the emergency department, due to the lack of a universally accepted assessment tool and the poor training of carers.Aim: explore the current practices of pain assessment in emergency departments in people with cognitive impairment. Methods: a literature review through Medline and CINAHL databases was carried out. Results: the tools currently used to assess pain in people with dementia in emergency departments have been identified, in association with some factors related to their use such as the importance of the role of family members and caregivers.
Conclusions: a standardised pain assessment tool for the person with severe cognitive impairment within emergency departments is needed. The use of the PAINAD scale seems appropriate for this purpose.

Keywords: Cognitive impairment, dementia, emergency department, elderly, pain assessment.