The aim of this section of a larger study was to identify the range of cues from which pain was inferred for a sample of residents with various levels of cognitive impairment in 15 UK nursing homes. Sixty-five nursing home staff and 36 informal carers of the 113 residents were interviewed. There was extensive use of body movements, facial expressions, and verbal and vocal cues and a considerable degree of interpretation of cues was used. There was little difference between the types of cue used by formal and informal carers, although informal carers tended to identify more of all types. There were differences in cues identified according to level of cognitive impairment, in particular, the interpretation of body movements. A simple model of the interaction between cognitive deficit, cue type and level of cue interpretation was proposed.