Research through HealthStreet: Reducing Pain and Behavioral Expressions for Older Adults with Dementia

Behavioral expressions, such as agitation and aggression, affect up to 90% of persons with dementia and are a major source of patient and caregiver distress, nursing home placement, antipsychotic medication use, restraints, and increased health care costs.Research suggests the reason behind these behavioral expressions may include undiagnosed and untreated pain.A study is being conducted by Dr. Ann Horgas from the UF College of Nursing to see if treating pain in patients with dementia or cognitive problems will decrease behavioral expressions.

“HealthStreet is in touch with many community members, some of whom might find this study relevant. HealthStreet can share this information so that as many people as possible have access to this research, and have the potential to help themselves and others deal with the challenges of caring for someone with dementia,” Dr. Ann Horgas said.

“HealthStreet is in touch with many community members, some of whom might find this study relevant,” Dr. Ann Horgas said.

In order to participate in this study, one must be 65 or older, have dementia or cognitive problems, experience chronic pain, show some behavioral expressions including agitation or aggression, and have a caregiver. The study lasts 8 weeks and looks at the use of a mild pain medication for the treatment of chronic pain. During the study, participants and their caregiver will complete study questionnaires about pain and behavior. Blood work will be done at the beginning and end of the study to monitor liver and kidney function. All study visits will take place at the participant’s residence by the study team. Study medications and all study testing is provided at no charge.

If you have any questions or are interested, please contact HealthStreet’s study navigator, Lauren Light, at (352) 294-4880.