Pain in Old Age


Our group is internationally renowned for developing and validating innovative approaches to the pain assessment of older persons who present with dementias and serious limitations in ability to communicate.

As an example, the Pain Assessment Checklist for Seniors with Limited Ability to Communicate (PACSLAC), developed in the lab, has been translated in several languages and has been used around the world. As a second example, knowledge translation work has involved the development of a pain self-management program for seniors which has been made available through the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP).

This work is presented in a book published by IASP. We have also studied cognitive behavioural pain management interventions for older persons. Members of this cluster have been successful in attracting several million dollars of research funding in recent years.

Cluster Leader

Thomas Hadjistavropoulos, Ph.D., ABPP, FCAHS, Department of Psychology, University of Regina

Cluster Members

Michelle Gagnon, Ph.D.  University of Saskatchewan

Natasha Gallant, Ph.D, Department of Psychology, University of Regina

Abigail Wickson-Griffiths, Ph.D, Faculty of Nursing, University of Regina

Graduate Students

Kylie Arsenault, Psychology

Louise Castillo, Psychology

Andy McLennan, Psychology

Rhonda Stopyn, Psychology

Vivian Tran, Psychology

Emily Winters, Psychology

Sample Projects

  • Development of a computerized automated vision system for monitoring pain behaviour in dementia
  • Pain assessment in elderly adults with dementia.
  • Knowledge mobilization about pain in dementia using social media

Sample Publications

Hadjistavropoulos, T. & Makris, U.E. (2022). Pain evaluation and management in patients with limited ability to communicate because of dementia. In H. T. Benzon, J. P. Rathmell, C. L. Wu, D.C. Turk, C.E. Argoff, R. Hurley, and A. L. Nicol (Editors), Practical management of pain (6th Edition), pp. 1052-1058, Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Elsevier.

Castillo, L. I. R., Hadjistavropoulos, T., & Brachaniec, M. (2021). The effectiveness of social media in the dissemination of knowledge about pain in dementia. Pain Medicine. 22, 2584–2596.

Guliani, H., Hadjistavropoulos, T., Jin, S. & Lix, L.M. (2021). Pain-related health care costs for long-term care residents. BMC Geriatrics, 552 (221).

Stopyn, R., Hadjistavropoulos, T., & Loucks, J. (2021). An eye tracking investigation of pain decoding based on older and younger adults’ facial expressions.  Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 45, 31-52.


For more information, contact Cluster Leader Dr. Thomas Hadjistavropoulos at