- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: J. Cameron Muir, MD (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)
Description: This is a very user-friendly softcover handbook that serves as a primer covering the spectrum of the practice of palliative care. It covers the prevalent symptom control issues, but it also discusses the non-physical aspects of "whole person care," which is characteristic of the field.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a concise overview of the practice of palliative care in an effort to introduce nonspecialists to the field. The main emphasis is the assertion that patients should be palliated throughout the continuum of care and not just at the end of life. To that end, the book provides the foundation for an understanding of this emerging field and attempts to develop an appreciation of palliative issues in general practice as well as an approach to effective management.
Audience: It is written for primary care physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and students as a general overview of the pertinent issues in palliative care. It is well written for this audience and, as is clearly stated at the outset, is not intended for the experienced palliative care provider. The editors have skillfully constructed this work to reflect their experience and passion for this most important field.
Features: It succinctly covers the more prevalent symptom control issues in palliative care with a plethora of useful tables and figures. It addresses the psychosocial and bereavement issues intertwined in the care of suffering patients and their caregivers as well. It is written in straightforward language which ought to be readily digestible by the audience for which it is intended. Abundant photographs and art help to personalize and humanize the pharmacology and technology utilized in palliative care. Still, while this review has the potential to be a tremendous resource, there is a paucity of references to direct curious readers to the next level.
Assessment: This book is a welcome overview of the basics of palliative care and should provide an excellent reference for understanding the foundations of palliative care. This is a succinct and much needed text detailing the breadth and scope of palliative care. For those desiring a more detailed understanding of a given symptom or issue, the Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine, 2nd edition, by Doyle et al. (Oxford University Press, 1998), is nearly encyclopedic with exhaustive references.