The Ones who Can’t Complain

Type: Video 38 mins

Recognising and Alleviating Pain in Persons with Dementia

This presentation will provide an overview of assessment and treatment of pain and discomfort in cognitively impaired adults is challenging because verbal reports of pain are often unreliable or unobtainable. The Serial Trial Intervention (STI), described in this presentation, is designed to more accurately assess and treat both physical pain and affective discomfort in people with dementia who are no longer able to clearly or consistently verbalise needs.


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Dr. Christine Kovach

Christine Kovach is a Distinguished Professor at the Jewish Home and Care Center Research Professor in Aging at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee College of Nursing.

She is also the Editor of the journal Research in Gerontological Nursing. She has done extensive clinical work and research in long-term care to improve assessment and treatment of people who have dementia and whose problems are underdiagnosed because of their inability to verbally self-report symptoms. She currently is conducting an NIH funded randomized controlled trial on the effectiveness of gabapentin enacarbil to treat nighttime agitation and sleep disturbance in people with Alzheimer’s disease diagnosed with restless legs syndrome. This RCT uses a new method for diagnosing restless legs syndrome in people with Alzheimer’s disease. She has over 100 publications and is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and the Gerontological Society of America.



  • Describe the benefits and limitations of implementation and education for changing dementia care practice;
  • Describe one model of implementation.


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