Use of pain-behavioral assessment tools in the nursing home: expert consensus recommendations for practice

Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


NLM Title Abbreviation

J Gerontol Nurs

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of gerontological nursing

PubMed ID


DOI of Published Version



Many tools are available for the assessment of pain in nonverbal older adults; however, guidelines are needed to help clinicians select the proper instrument for use in the nursing home setting. This article describes a project to identify clinically useful pain-behavioral assessment tools that have undergone sufficient psychometric testing. Phase 1 of the project included a comprehensive review and critique of currently available tools. In Phase 2, the National Nursing Home Pain Collaborative developed criteria to evaluate an updated list of tools and then rated 14 tools using these criteria. As a result, two tools were recommended as most representative of current state of the science, most clinically relevant, and practically applicable to integrate into everyday practice and support adherence to regulatory guidelines. Such recommendations for selection of best-available pain assessment tools are a cornerstone for clinicians in regard to managing pain of nursing home residents who, due to dementia, are unable to self-report pain. Copyright 2010, SLACK Incorporated.


Clinical Assessment Tools, Nursing Homes, Pain Measurement -- In Old Age, Aged, Analgesia, Dementia, Education, Continuing (Credit), Long Term Care, Pain -- Diagnosis, Psychometrics

Published Article/Book Citation

Journal of gerontological nursing, 36:3 (2010) pp.18-31. DOI:10.3928/00989134-20100108-04.

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