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From The CriticsReviewer: Susan M. Wechter, PhDc, RN, PPCPNP-BC(Walsh University Nursing School)
Description: The author presents a comprehensive and clear clinical guide for pain management in the pediatric population in this book. Seven concise sections cover indications, methods, and tools for assessment and management of acute and chronic pain in infants, children, and adolescents. Specific pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic interventions and care guidelines address children's pain in a collaborative, integrative approach through a multidisciplinary lens.
Purpose: The purpose is to give primary care providers a concise, evidence-based resource that addresses the comprehensive pain management needs of the pediatric population. This is a necessary, detailed guide offering clinically sound management steps to improve therapeutic techniques for infants and children in acute and chronic pain. The author's outstanding literature review addresses state-of-the art management of children's pain and identifies multiple avenues for future research.
Audience: This clinical guide is written for primary healthcare providers in the management of infants, children, and adolescents who are experiencing pain. This would include, but not be limited to, nurses, physicians, therapists, students, and parents involved in a collaborative approach to pain management. As a pain clinical nurse specialist from St. Jude's Children's Hospital, the author brings rich clinical expertise and a research background to illuminate comprehensive, clinical management of the child in pain.
Features: The seven sections address the definition, assessment, and therapeutics for pain management of infants and children. An outstanding overview of state-of-the art pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic interventions includes clinical guidelines for pain management. Multiple tools, scales, and tables give practitioners specific developmental guidelines that address the continuum of needs for infants through adolescents. Indications for new drug therapies, and parameters for cognitive and physical therapies complete the repertoire, capturing the child's and the family's individual pain management needs. Specific chapters highlight the care of the child with postoperative, cancer, sickle cell, and trauma pain as well as the critically ill and dying child. Additionally, an excellent, detailed pain education tool for parents is offered. With over 400 references, this book provides a meta-analysis of the available evidence on children's pain. The author critically outlines a future research trajectory for children's pain management, giving direction to clinicians and paving the way for the next edition of this resource. Shortcomings are few, but include the lack of a comprehensive theoretical framework and specific cultural and spiritual guidelines, and minimal information on the significance of the parent-child relationship in pain management. Despite these gaps, the author lists relevant national websites and resources in the appendix that could remedy the need for this additional information.
Assessment: This is an excellent clinical guide for practitioners who manage acute and chronic pain in infants, children, and adolescents. I am unaware of a guide that provides the combination of a hands-on clinical resource and a rich meta-analysis of research for the evidence-based management of children's pain. I would recommend this as a staple in all areas of healthcare serving children. It also provides a guide for health policy makers, researchers, and project leaders to enhance the quality of pain management for children and their families.