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From The CriticsReviewer: Mary Dee McEvoy, PhD, RN (Mount Sinai Hospital and Medical Center)
Description: The editor of this comprehensive text covers all aspects of the care of patients with cancer of the head and neck. This 572-page text encompasses five sections and 24 chapters.
Purpose: The purpose is to present the literature based evidence to develop, plan, and implement care for patients with head and neck cancer. The purpose stated to "provide evidence" is a unique feature of the book and the editor and contributors present the methods that they used to gather the evidence from the literature, including the literature searches used. The evidence is presented in the traditional manner of references however, with the references presented at the end of the text, rather than the end of each chapter. Explanations of gaps in the evidence and future research ideas would have been appreciated.
Audience: The stated audience is nurses who plan and deliver services to patients with head and neck cancer. The contributors include nurses, dieticians, physicians, and speech and language therapists. Although the audience is nurses, all members of the healthcare team would benefit from this text.
Features: The text is divided into five sections including care issues (an overview of the topic), acute nursing management, quality of life, oncology treatments, and thyroid cancer. Interspersed throughout are tables and black-and-white diagrams. The most comprehensive table is in the chapter on quality of life, including the research and measurement of this concept. Several of the chapters on acute nursing management (such as wound care and fungating lesions) will be useful in the management of patients with other cancer types experiencing these complex problems. The chapter on carotid hemorrhage is very interesting and includes a table on supplies needed in the home setting. The diagrams are helpful, but could be improved by presenting them in color. The text is supplemented with patient case studies and stories, and these reinforce the written word. There are several drawbacks; a major one is that it is printed in black-and-white only and appears boring visually. The only color is the red print of the cover. The patient resources are all from London, resources from the U.S. are not included. Finally, all the references are listed at the end of the book rather than at the end of each chapter.
Assessment: This comprehensive textbook is unique, with a singular focus on the management of patients with head and neck cancer. It is an excellent resource text for oncology nurses in the acute care setting, in ambulatory care, and in the home. In addition to nurses, many members of the interdisciplinary team will find it helpful. The approach of evidence-based care is a unique asset, making this an important contribution to the discipline.