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From The CriticsReviewer: Lorna Montoya, BSN (University of New Mexico Hospital)
Description: This is an update of a comprehensive oncology nursing guide to cancer symptom management and control. The third edition was published in 2003.
Purpose: The preface notes that the purpose is to provide a guide to problem management for nurses who care for patients with cancer. The preface is clear that the problems a cancer patient may face are identified as symptoms even though they may be signs and syndromes. The goal of the book is to address any issue that may interfere with a cancer patient's quality of life as well as how nurses may help patients manage those symptoms.
Audience: It is intended as a resource for nurses, patients, and patients' families. It really is appropriate for what I would identify as two audiences. The majority of the book is for nurses who specialize in oncology nursing. The "Self-Care Guides" incorporated into each chapter are specifically written for the other audience, which includes patients and their families. The editors are registered nurses in the field of oncology.
Features: This book covers all areas of symptom management in the care of oncology patients. Included are nausea/vomiting, cachexia, lymphedema, increased intracranial pressure, dyspnea, bleeding, effusions, and psychosocial and sexual function. Each topic is dissected to address its pathophysiology, assessment, nursing management, and patient management strategies. Each chapter/symptom also includes the Self-Care Guide for patient teaching, which is, perhaps, the most unique feature of the book. Shortcomings are that there are very few illustrations and the book's layout makes it a bit difficult to read. In addition, it would be helpful to have the Self-Care Guides evaluated by a patient literacy specialist. I am pleased to see the new sections dealing with hypersensitivity reactions to antineoplastic drugs and the symptoms when death is imminent.
Assessment: The content of this book is of excellent quality. It is useful to oncology nurses who deal with these difficult patient situations on a daily basis.