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Congratulations to 3 postgrads in Special Care Dentistry who won the iSDH prize for innovation 2021

Congratulations to 3 postgrads in Special Care Dentistry who won the iSDH prize for innovation 2021 for the design of their novel pain pathway for patients who are non verbal or unable to communicate pain in a typical manner.

Diagnosing pain in patients who are unable to describe and report pain verbally is challenging. Frequently patients with disabilities are unable to communicate their pain in a typical manner, often relying on a proxy observation and report
by a support person. Moreover pain-related behaviour may involve self harm or be confused with behavioural and psychological signs associated with dementia, intellectual disability or autism which further distorts pain communication and interpretation.The pathway entitled 'MORE than WORDS' (MtW) was introduced to the SCD clinics by postgtads as part of an assignment during the first stage of the pandemic. It was designed to optimize information gathering prior to seeing a patient face to face and risk assessing their need to leave their homes at a time when those people with disabilities living in residential care or those with.high carer needs were particularly vulnerable.
An extensive literature search informed selection of the best pain diagnosing tools for non verbal.individuals in the clinical environment and the design of a pre and post appointment pain diary specifically intended for orofacial pain reporting by a proxy. Previously, assessing and diagnosing orofacial pain in the clinic was often limited by anxiety and care resistant behaviour from the patient and an caregiver unfamiliar with the pain history.  MtW is novel and uses teledentistry to optimise and inform clinical encounters using evidence informed tools and processes 
It has proved useful and effective by caregivers and.clinicians alike and its use has continued post pandemic lockdown in order to optimise pain identification.diagnosis and treatment for non verbal.individuals going forward.