Managing pain to prevent aggression in people with dementia: a nonpharmacologic intervention

Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen. 2012 Feb;27(1):41-7. doi: 10.1177/1533317512439795.


Aggression is a common form of behavioral disturbance in dementia. Strategies to prevent and treat aggressive behavior are underdeveloped. However, recent work points to several modifiable risk factors that may be targets for intervention. Pain management is an evidence-based, feasible, but potentially underused, strategy that may be incorporated with other behavioral interventions to prevent aggression. In this article, we review areas of overlap in interventions for pain and for behavioral disturbances and describe an intervention concept that may hold promise for older adults with dementia who are at risk of developing aggressive behavior.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aggression* / psychology
  • Dementia / complications*
  • Dementia / nursing
  • Humans
  • Pain Management*
  • Risk Factors