Topic outline

  • Pain: The 5th Vital Sign [PSW/Family Caregivers]

    Photo of elderly woman with neck painPain is the greatest threat to comfort and a person’s quality of life. It is highly prevalent in the older population with 60-75% of people over the age of 65 reporting at least some persistent pain. Despite this, the elderly are often untreated or undertreated for pain. Effective pain management involves a collaborative team approach exploring factors that contribute to the person’s pain and working with the individual to understand their pain and meet their treatment goals

     Welcome to the course on Pain Management in the Elderly. This course is designed for health care providers’ continuing education and professional development. It is intended to increase your knowledge of pain management in the elderly through the delivery of core curriculum, interactive activities, case studies, knowledge check questions and reflective practice.

    PLEASE NOTE: These courses are open to the public with no registration required.  However, if you wish to access a Course Completion Certificate for a course, you must be enrolled as a student.  To do so please contact info@sageducation.ca.


    Course Outline:

    • Course Description & Resources
    • Pre-Assessment
    • Lesson 1: Introduction
    • Lesson 2: Types of Pain - Pain in the Cognitively Impaired Person
    • Lesson 3: Screening, Assessment and Documentation
    • Lesson 4: Intervention & Pain Management Therapies
    • Post-Assessment


    Course Completion Criteria

    In order to complete this course you must view and follow all the Lesson Modules. Please note that the Quizzes embedded in these modules, as well as the Pre and Post Assessments are provided to enhance your own understanding of the material and are not counted as formal marks.   

    PLEASE NOTE: in order to launch our Lesson Modules you will need to enable Pop-Up Windows in your browser.


  • PSW/Family Caregivers - Pain > Pre-Assessment

    This simple quiz provides a means of measuring your understanding of the topic before you start this course.  When compared with the Post-Course quiz, the data we collect helps us measure the effectiveness of our course design and content as well as providing helpful feedback for the learner. 

    In some cases these pre and post course assessments will be required by your employer as part of a quality improvement initiative and/or as indicators of understanding of site-based required educational activities.

  • PSW/Family Caregivers - Pain > Lesson 1: Introduction

    Photo of elderly man with cane walking with assistanceLesson 1 defines the concept of pain, reviews the basic principles and facts related to pain in the elderly and identifies the key consequences of unresolved pain.

  • PSW/Family Caregivers - Pain > Lesson 2: What is Pain?

    Photo of a knotted ropeIn Lesson 2, the two main types of pain are distinguished along with the causes and triggers of pain. Signs and symptoms of pain in the person who has cognitive impairment is reviewed.

  • PSW/Family Caregivers - Pain > Lesson 3: Observing & Reporting Pain

    Photo of an elderly man limpingLesson 3 provides a general approach to identifying pain in the older adult along with common measurement and screening tools. Key principles of documentation are reviewed.

  • PSW/Family Caregivers - Pain > Lesson 4: Pain Management Therapies

    Photo of a woman with back painLesson 4 identifies pain management strategies and therapies available. Barriers to adequate pain management are reviewed along with measures to determine if therapies are effective.

  • PSW/Family Caregivers - Pain > Post Assessment & Course Feedback

    This simple quiz provides a means of measuring your understanding of the topic after completing this course.  When compared with the Post-Course quiz, the data we collect helps us measure the effectiveness of our course design and content as well as providing helpful feedback for the learner. 

    In some cases these pre and post course assessments will be required by your employer as part of a quality improvement initiative and/or as indicators of understanding of site-based required educational activities.

    Please finish the course by completing the 3-question Course Feedback form.