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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Marlene S. Foreman, BSN, MN (Hospice of Acadiana, Inc.)
Description: This clear, concise reference on palliative care provides theoretical background, evidence-based practice, and guidelines for provision of care as life nears the end. It is an update of the 2005 edition.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide straightforward information on a variety of palliative care topics from breaking bad news to ethical issues. The handbook more than meets its objectives and its small size makes it easy to carry around.
Audience: Healthcare professionals providing palliative care to children and adults are the primary audience, but this edition attempts to provide information in a manner helpful for nonmedical readers as well. However, professionals will benefit most from this book.
Features: This edition has been completely reviewed and revised, and includes new information as well as an increased emphasis on nonmalignant diseases. It is a complete synopsis of all the information necessary to assist patients at the end of life, regardless of diagnosis or age. The handbook covers communication, ethics, medications for symptom management, complementary therapy, and other nonpharmacologic therapies. The entire book is full of clearly explained and evidence-based information. The tables, illustrations, and other materials expand on the text in ways that no other media could. There is no glossary, but the index sends the reader to specific content where all is explained in detail.
Assessment: I am a certified advance practice nurse in hospice and palliative nursing and a clinical nurse specialist who has taught nursing for 26 years and has been in hospice nursing 18 years. I will be keeping this book near me as I teach our staff, prepare them for certification tests, and improve patient care. I will be sharing information with our physicians as well. This is a remarkable book that will be useful for hospice and palliative care professionals as well as other readers. I have used the Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine, 3rd edition, Doyle et al. (Oxford University Press, 2004) as a reference for some time, but this handbook is so very handy.