Description: This handbook provides a quick reference and overview of the etiology and management of common painful conditions.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide an accessible guide to the principles and practicalities of pain management. This book does not present the technical aspect of invasive techniques in the role of pain management.
Audience: The primary audience is trainees in rehabilitation medicine, palliative care, anesthesia, psychology, and nursing, as well as other members of the pain clinic team. Experienced personnel in these areas will welcome the convenient size to quickly reference diagnostic criteria.
Features: The content includes a review of the science of pain management, a clinical outline of the common painful syndromes, and a summary of the role and importance of psychology in the management of pain. Separate sections discuss acute pain, cancer and HIV pain, and chronic pain syndromes. Clinical pharmacology is presented, and all major classifications of pain drugs are discussed.
Assessment: This is an excellent companion to Borsook's The Massachusetts General Hospital Handbook of Pain Management (Lippincott-Raven, 1995). Stannard's Churchill's Pocketbook of Pain (WB Saunders, 1998) has a broader audience and includes acute pain, obstetric pain, and trauma pain in addition to chronic pain. The lack of invasive techniques lends appeal to a broader audience and focuses on the importance of diagnosis, the overall art of medicine, and the need of a multidisciplinary team in the treatment of pain.