Joint Occurrence of Pain and Sleep Disturbances in People with Dementia. A Systematic Review

Author(s): Elisabeth Flo, Bjorn Bjorvatn, Anne Corbett, Stale Pallesen, Bettina S. Husebo

Journal Name: Current Alzheimer Research

Volume 14 , Issue 5 , 2017

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Background: Advancing age is associated with high prevalence of pain, sleep problems and dementia. Dementia is frequently accompanied by distressing behavioral and psychological symptoms, including sleep problems. The etiology of sleep problems in dementia is multifactorial. It has been suggested that untreated pain may contribute to sleep problems, and pain treatment has been shown to reduce sleep problems in people with dementia.

Objective: This systematic review aims to provide an overview of the studies that have investigated the association and/or possible interaction between pain and sleep in dementia.

Methods: A systematic search was performed in MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane and PsychINFO, including text words and MESH terms covering dementia, pain and sleep. Also, reference lists in the included publications were examined to retrieve publications. Publications had to investigate sleep and pain in relation to dementia to be included in this review.

Results: The search produced 1750 independent hits. Out of the 49 publications studied in full text, 11 publications were included. Only one controlled trial was identified and represented the only insights to the possible interactional relationship between pain, sleep and dementia. Pain or pain intensity were related to sleep in 6 of the included studies, while the remaining studies could neither support nor contradict a relationship between sleep and pain in people with dementia. None of the studies employed objective sleep assessment.

Conclusion: There is a need for high quality studies investigating the interaction between sleep and pain in people with dementia, using objective sleep measurements and pain assessment suitable for people with dementia.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease, dementia, nursing home, pain, review, sleep.

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Article Details

Year: 2017
Published on: 02 April, 2017
Page: [538 - 545]
Pages: 8
DOI: 10.2174/1567205013666160602234932
Price: $65

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