University of ReginaCentre on Aging and Health (CAH)

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

Gregory Marchildon, Ph.D.  School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Toronto

Jaime Williams, Ph.D, Department of Psychology, University of Regina

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

Graduate Students

Delaine Ammaturo, Psychology 

Michelle Gagnon, Psychology 

Natasha Gallant, Psychology

Omeed Ghandehari, Psychology

Amy Hampton, 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

Chan, S., Hadjistavropoulos, T., Williams, J., & Lints-Martindale, A. (2014). Evidence-based development and initial validation of the Pain Assessment Checklist for Seniors with Limited Ability to Communicate-II (PACSLAC-II). Clinical Journal of Pain, 30, 816-824.

Hadjistavropoulos, T., Herr, K., Prkachin, K., Craig, K., Gibson, S., Lukas, L. & Smith, J. (2014). Pain assessment in elderly adults with dementia. The Lancet Neurology, 13, 1216-1227. doi:10.1016/S1474-4422(14)70103-6

Hadjistavropoulos, T., Marchildon, G., Fine, P., Herr, K., Palley, H., Kaasalainen, S. & Beland, F. (2009). Transforming long-term care pain management in North America: The policy clinical interface.Pain Medicine, 10, 506-520.

Williams, J., Hadjistavropoulos, T., Ghandehari, O. O., Yao, X., & Lix, L. (2015). An evaluation of a person-centred care program for long-term care facilities. Ageing & Society, 35, 457-488.

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