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Table 1 Inclusion and exclusion criteria

From: Pain assessment for people with dementia: a systematic review of systematic reviews of pain assessment tools

  Criteria Definitions
Setting Reviews pertaining to any setting Settings are for example acute hospitals, nursing homes, community settings.
Patient population Reviews of studies limited to adult dementia patients or adults with cognitive impairment. Dementia defined as “an acquired organic mental disorder with loss of intellectual abilities of sufficient severity to interfere with social or occupational functioning. The dysfunction is multifaceted […]”
All stages of dementia in adults considered (e.g. mild, severe). Cognitive impairment defined as Cognition Disorder: “Disturbances in the mental process related to thinking, reasoning, and judgment”. Does not include Learning Disorders. (Source: MeSH vocabulary -http://www.nlm.nih.gov/mesh/)
Intervention Reviews of studies of the assessment of pain and of pain assessment tools. Reviews that include management of pain considered if they also cover assessment of pain. Pain assessment as defined by IASP “entails a comprehensive evaluation of the patient’s pain, symptoms, functional status, and clinical history […]”.
All forms of pain considered (e,g. acute pain, persistent), without distinction on location of pain (e.g. abdominal pain). “[…] The assessment process is essentially a dialogue between the patient and the health care provider that addresses the nature, location and extent of the pain, and looks at the patient’s daily life, and concludes with the pharmaceutical and nonpharmaceutical treatment options available to manage it” [20]. Evaluation tools may be used in this process: “To varying degrees, these tools attempt to locate and quantify the severity and duration of the patient’s subjective pain experience […]” [20].
Reviews of studies of pain assessment included, irrespective of the outcomes of the assessment (e.g. patients being in pain or not).  
Evaluation (method of) Systematic reviews only to be included Definition of systematic review:
1. Review carried out systematically – i.e. publication that makes explicit the authors’ intention to review or summarise the literature (e.g. with review, overview, or meta-analysis in the title or in a section heading) [21].
2. Satisfying the following criteria [22]:
- Clear set of objectives: explicit and clear research question
- Reproducible methodology: the paper clearly explains how the evidence was retrieved, including sources and search strategy and the inclusion (and exclusion) criteria
- Assessment of validity of the findings (e.g. assessment of risk of bias)
- Systematic presentation and synthesis of findings beyond those provided by single studies.
Additional criteria Reviews to be included only if with data and/or assessment of reliability and/or validity and/or clinical utility Reliability: “the degree to which the measurement is free from measurement error” [23].
   Validity: “the degree to which the [instrument] measures the construct(s) it purports to measure” [23].
  Inclusion limited to English language Clinical utility: “the usefulness of the measure for decision making”, i.e. to inform further action, such as the administration of analgesics [24].
  1. The definition of criteria for inclusion of potentially relevant reviews follows an adapted SPICE structure (Setting, Population, Intervention, Comparison, method of Evaluation) [16]. All criteria must be met for reviews to be included.