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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Elyse Meltzer, RNC, MSN, CPNP (Mount Sinai Hospital and Medical Center)
Description: This is a book about childhood cancer that does not include information about disease and specific treatment; the editor is solely concerned with related psychosocial issues.
Purpose: It appears that the intent is to combine two concepts of care by addressing the psychosocial needs of the child with cancer and their families through a partnership approach to caring. The impact of disease and quality of life issues are explored from diagnosis through treatment, to survivorship or death. Most other pediatric oncology texts only have short sections on these concepts; here readers can find an in-depth exploration of the effect of cancer on the child, family, and nurse from a psychosocial perspective.
Audience: According to the editor, this book is written specifically for nurses and I would be inclined to agree. It is written in a manner that it can be an effective teaching tool for nurses at all levels of experience. Although the specific focus is on children with cancer, I believe that the main concepts can be extrapolated and utilized with any childhood chronic illness. The contributors are mostly clinical nurses with the knowledge and credentials of expert practitioners.
Features: The content is diverse and well-rounded. Very important concepts such as partnership in care, negotiation, and empowerment that are vital components in dealing with children with cancer and their families are thoroughly reviewed. Several chapters are devoted to the impact of treatment and diagnosis on the child, family, and nurse. Coping and coping strategies appropriate to developmental level are provided. Other topics include bone marrow transplantation, discharge planning, survivorship, and death and dying.
Assessment: Something unique about this book that I thought can be extremely useful, especially in a teaching setting, are the activities, reflection points, case studies, and discussion boxes interspersed throughout the text. They are introspective and thought-provoking. They also enable readers to learn through their own experiences. All in all, I find this book to be useful and well-organized. It is applicable for a novice nurse as well as an experienced one. I have not seen many other books about the child with cancer that deal completely with psychosocial issues geared specifically for nurses.