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New Emerging Team

Dr. Heather Hadjistavropoulos was a member of the New Emerging Team, led by Dr. Thomas Hadjistavropoulos, focused on the implementation and evaluation of pain assessment and treatment programs for seniors.

The research was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Project Summary


The Regina Based New Emerging Team Investigators (from left to right):
Robert McCulloch, David Malloy, Thomas Hadjistavropoulos, Heather Hadjistavropoulos, & Michael MacLean

Most health conditions associated with aging carry a substantial burden of pain, and pain is a very common preoccupation among older adults. The prevalence of painful conditions increases with institutionalization. Moreover, dementia is a prevalent condition among older persons, and evidence suggests that pain experienced by seniors with cognitive impairments is undertreated and underrecognized.

We undertook a large-scale multi-dimensional attack on the problem of pain in seniors. Our goals were to a) systematically assess and identify pain among seniors in the community who have medically complex problems; b) systematically assess and identify pain among seniors with dementia living in long-term care; c) systematically assess and identify pain among seniors receiving home care in the community; d) develop, implement, and evaluate psychosocial and health interventions for the prevention and treatment of pain in seniors that can be utilized by patients and caregivers in a variety of settings; and e) develop ethical and professional guidelines for assessing and treating pain in seniors. We had also established the first permanent gerontology center, dedicated to the study of Health and Aging, in the province of Saskatchewan.

Our team represented expertise in the areas of pain assessment and management, aging, dementia, health services research, physical activity programming for older adults, clinical psychology, geriatric medicine, statistics, nursing, kinesiology, quantitative and qualitative research, public policy, social work, as well as applied and theoretical ethics.

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