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From The CriticsReviewer: Nancy A Delzer, MBA, MSN (Columbia St. Mary's)
Description: This is a comprehensive overview of palliative care from where care is delivered, to specifics about major disease processes and age groups, to developing your own program.
Purpose: The purpose is to describe the journey at the end of life with its many facets and changing demographics with the hope that someday the fragmented care system we have will be remedied. This is a good overview of what is in place today and the direction healthcare should be headed in the future. It provides a good starting point for those new to palliative care and a good review for those currently providing care.
Audience: The book is written for a wide audience, from professors and students to anyone in the healthcare field with an interest in palliative care, as well as administrative personnel who are looking for an overview of palliative care or how to start a program.
Features: The four major sections of this book start with a description of the different care settings where palliative care is provided. The next section discusses major disease states, with disease specific chapters that start with a short pathophysiology section, disease trajectory, making the referral to palliative care and a concise summary. Age specific issues in pediatric and geriatric populations are covered in the next section. The final section covers developing your own palliative care program, quality monitors, and ethical issues. Highlights include chapters on palliative care in nursing facilities, and the role of cancer rehabilitation in the maintenance of functional integrity and quality of life, two topics that are not always addressed. Some references are a bit dated.
Assessment: Much of the information in this book is not new, but it is a good overview of palliative care. It provides some historical perspective on the development of palliative care and is a good starting point for those new to palliative care.