New study reveals potential role for PainChek® in pain assessment in patients with delirium

A new review published by the Journal of European Geriatric Medicine has revealed a potential role for PainChek® in the assessment and management of pain in patients with delirium.

According to the paper by Sampson et al., delirium affects people’s ability to self-report pain and can make it more challenging for practitioners to recognise, assess and treat pain.1 (see full study link)

Professor Sampson, Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Department, University College London, believes there should be more investigation into what tools practitioners are using to assess pain in people with delirium.

“Delirium can exacerbate movement-related pain but it can also alter how people perceive pain and reduce their ability to communicate their pain. PainChek® may have a useful role in detecting pain in people with delirium and we are currently running a research project to see whether it could be helpful,” said Professor Sampson.

The PainChek® app utilises artificial intelligence to assist in the detection and quantification of pain. PainChek® Chief Scientific Officer, Professor Jeff Hughes said this is an area that the company is keen to pursue, adding to their vision to give a voice to those who cannot verbalise their pain.

“It is estimated that there are over 130,000 cases of delirium across the aged care and hospital settings in Australia annually. A specific problem for assessing pain in these people is the overlap of delirium symptoms with commonly cited pain behaviours. This makes non-verbal behavioural signs an important aspect of pain communication,” said Professor Hughes.

“PainChek’s® automated facial recognition and analysis means the technology is well placed to assist in the diagnosis of pain in people with delirium. We are excited to be exploring this promising approach for future care with Professor Sampson.”

PainChek's potential use with Delirium Patients

PainChek® is currently working with Professor Sampson on the DeCoDe-H (Dementia, disComfort and Distress- acute Hospitals) study. It aims to determine the gold standard for assessing pain in people with advanced dementia. The study is evaluating the effectiveness of the PainChek®technology on 150 participants with moderate to severe dementia in three acute hospitals in London. The population being assessed is at a high risk of delirium.