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From The CriticsReviewer: Melody L. McKinney, DNS, RN (Indiana State University)
Description: This book on cancer care is one of a series on counseling and communication initiated in 1991 to assist professionals in specialized areas to communicate effectively and relate realistically to problems commonly experienced by people with a particular disease. The stated aim of the series is to make people feel listened to, cared for, and respected in their pursuit of health and to face the future, regardless of prognosis, with dignity.
Purpose: According to the authors, the main purposes of the book are to provide an understanding of the psychological issues involved in caring for persons with cancer and to explain how health professionals can learn and use communication and counseling skills to promote well-being in cancer patients and their significant others.
Audience: The book should be useful to all professionals involved in the clinical aspects of cancer care. The authors are two professionals with extensive experience in counseling cancer patients.
Features: The book begins with a general introduction to the impact of cancer and the related role of health professionals. The remaining chapters contain an overview of cancer and its management, the helping process, building blocks of communication, managing common clinical situations, recognizing and managing difficult situations, and professional issues in cancer care. The overall plan of the book is to educate care providers on psychological processes and the use of helping relationship skills in cancer patients.
Assessment: This well-indexed, well-referenced book meets the authors' goal of a practical resource for cancer care workers. The book provides the basic principles of effective communication, guidelines for using the helping process, and case-study examples to assist care providers in empowering cancer patients to make choices that will aid in successful adaptation to their circumstances. This book is especially needed because of the devastating effects that cancer diagnosis and treatment may have on the lives of patients and their families. No population is more vulnerable or more in need of being treated with dignity and respect, having access to clear information, and receiving appropriate psychological and practical support.