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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Lorraine Amorosi, MA, RN (Mount Sinai Hospital and Medical Center)
Description: Using the metaphor of "the dance," the author outlines various strategies and coping mechanisms to help people live with chronic pain. The book recognizes that chronic pain significantly intrudes on one's life and offers mechanisms to help people respond differently to their pain, therefore gaining control of their life as well as their pain.
Purpose: The purpose is to help people gradually change their concept of chronic pain and their attitudes toward it. It identifies internal and external factors associated with pain and offers solutions to understanding and controlling one's pain.
Audience: The audience for this book is vast; it is for healthcare providers as well as for people who live with chronic pain. The book outlines the physiology as well as the psychological aspects of pain; if one is to control pain, one must understand both etiologies of pain. For those that live with pain this book is extremely helpful. It primarily justifies how "real" their pain is, helps to define what they feel but may not be able to articulate, and offers them concrete mechanisms to put them back in control of their lives.
Features: At the end of each chapter there is a summary of the topics discussed as well as worksheet on which a person's level, or "the dancers," of the pain are assessed. These are unique features that make this book very user-friendly and help to serve as resource. Practitioners can extract these worksheets for their own patients' use.
Assessment: I found this book to be worthwhile in addressing the reality of pain, the physical and psychological components of pain, and coping strategies of living with chronic pain. I did not relate to the metaphor of "the dance"; I could understand why the author chose the metaphor, yet I thought another metaphor would have been more appropriate. I liked the holistic approach to pain management. The book appropriately discusses pain medications, yet concentrates on one's internal strengths to help control their pain. The book gives a feeling of hope and offers empowerment to those living with chronic pain.