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From The CriticsReviewer: Marilyn Sample, B.S. and M.S. (Indiana State University)
Description: This book focuses on the emotional challenges that people with lymphedema encounter. It combines a narrative presentation of the information with some components one might see in a workbook.
Purpose: The author offers this as a complement to other books that primarily focus on the pathophysiology of lymphedema. In her practice as a clinical psychologist, the author encounters patients with various chronic conditions that cause many emotions to be manifested and needs to be met. In addition, she became personally interested in the condition of lymphedema because one of her relatives developed the condition. This book will help meet the learning needs of readers regarding the emotional challenges that patients with lymphedema experience, as well as their caregivers, significant others, and family members. This book also contains suggestions about how to cope with the emotions. This book certainly meets the author's objectives of providing a resource that can be used to understand the emotional challenges of these patients.
Audience: This book is written for anyone who is in the position of dealing with lymphedema — patients as well as the healthcare professionals who care for them. The author also suggests that patients' significant others and family members can benefit from this resource and I concur.
Features: The focus of the book is on the varied emotional challenges that one may experience once diagnosed with lymphedema. The author presents chapters devoted to specific feeling states such as anger, anxiety, sadness, etc. This book is also a resource for others who want to know about the emotional needs of these patients. In most chapters, the author has boxed areas that contain coping suggestions for a particular emotion. Also, most chapters have a worksheet which encourages readers to be more interactive with the written content. The book is well organized, and the information is presented at a level that is not too technical.
Assessment: A helpful appendix describes the pathophysiology of lymphedema. I think it is essential to have some understanding of the condition in order to be able to understand the emotional sequelae that may occur. The book is very well written, the information is organized in a logical manner, and the text is not too technical. Besides information about emotional challenges encountered by these patients, many suggestions and opportunities to take personal inventories are presented. This is a useful adjunct to other books about living with lymphedema.