Learning Objectives

At the end of this module, you will be able to:

  1. Apply valid and reliable tools for pain assessment in an older adult with limited communication.
  2. Describe the important elements of oral health potentially impacting oral pain and dental examination in an older adult with limited communication.
  3. Create a treatment plan for an older adult with dental/oral pain with limited communication and memory.

Course Goal

The goal of this course is to provide an interactive learning experience about a 85-year-old woman, Margaret Andersen, with limited communication who demonstrates changes in behavior two weeks after entering a nursing care facility.

Intended Audience

The intended audience for this course is pre-licensure students in the fields of medicine, dentistry, nursing, physical and occupational therapy, pharmacy, and social services.


The length for this course is approximately 60 minutes depending on the individual user. Upon completion of the course, you will get a certificate of completion.

Competencies Addressed

Competencies for Pain Management

Domain Two: Pain Assessment and Measurement

  • Use valid and reliable tools for measuring pain and associated symptoms to assess and reassess related outcomes as appropriate for the clinical context and population.

Domain Three: Management of Pain

  • Identify pain treatment options that can be accessed in a comprehensive pain management plan.

Domain Four: Clinical Conditions

  • Describe the unique pain assessment and management needs of special populations.


Primary Investigator (PI)

Keela Herr, PhD, RN, AGSF, FGSA, FAAN

Co-Primary Investigator (Co-PI)

Kathleen Sluka, PT, PhD

Project Coordinator

Eiko Oka, MPH

Case Developers Team

  • Dana Dailey, PT, PhD (Lead)
  • Linda Hand, PhD
  • Valerie Keffala, PhD
  • Barbara St. Marie, PhD, ANP, GNP
  • Sara Sanders, PhD, MSW
  • John Swegle, PharmD
  • Nicola Jane Stickney, DNP, ARNP, NP-C
  • Chen Xi, DDS, PhD
  • Carol Gorney, MPAS

Instructional Design Team

  • Nor Hashidah Abd Hamid, PhD (Instructional Designer)
  • Laurie Walkner, MA, BSN (Instructional Design Coordinator)
  • Melissa Richlen, BA (Media Specialist)


  • Evelyn Stansde as Margaret Andersen
  • JC Luxton as Joe the grandson
  • Cloie Myers as CNA (Aide)
  • Scott Wittenkeller as Nurse
  • Chris Mann as Nurse Practitioner


Dana Dailey, PT, PhD

Reviewers (University of Iowa)

  • Kim Bergen-Jackson, PhD, RN-BC, LNHA
  • Hong Chen, DDS, MS, MHI

A special thanks to Laura Carlson, and Kim Bergen-Jackson and the Oaknoll Retirement Residence, Iowa City, Iowa, for providing space and time for video recording. In addition, actors were recruited from the Carver College of Medicine Patient Simulator Group.

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University of Iowa