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From The CriticsReviewer: Marlene S. Foreman, BSN, MN (Hospice of Acadiana, Inc.)
Description: The aim of this book is the same as that of the first edition, published seven years ago — to provide up-to-date information on pediatric palliative care, which this edition does beautifully with words and illustrations.
Purpose: The focus is on recognizing the need for child and family centered care and on providing flexible, individualized care based on family values and needs, discussing the team approach among professionals, child, and family, and assuring that evidence-based practice is used as appropriate. The ability of the authors to weave an interesting, informative, and accurate description of the care of children is exceptional.
Audience: According to the authors, this book is written for professionals, volunteers, and parents. Anyone who provides care or support for a child with a life-limiting disease should read this book, in parts as needed, rather than from cover to cover. I had a difficult time putting it down because it is interesting as well as informative, with awesome illustrations. The authors must have considerable hands-on experience with these children to be so compelling in their descriptions.
Features: This book presents a foundation of knowledge before describing the developmental and psychosocial aspects of the ill child, siblings, and family. It continues through common symptoms, pharmacological and nonpharmacological management of symptoms, and care of the dying child. The end of the book covers organizational and other issues regarding delivery of palliative care to children. The formulary is especially useful for physicians who are not pediatricians but are providing symptom management for children. Readers will glean a wealth of information just from the pictures, illustrations, figures, and tables.
Assessment: As a clinical nurse specialist, retired nurse educator, and current education coordinator in a not-for-profit hospice, I read a lot about end-of-life issues, in both children and adults. This book is an exceptional example of evidence-based and empirical knowledge of pediatric palliative care by expert authors. It provides a large body of knowledge, addresses pertinent issues, and guides readers to greater comprehension of the magnitude of conditions that face ill children, their parents and siblings, and the community as a whole. It also includes some discussion of the feelings of the professionals dealing with these children. I am not familiar with the first edition, but I believe this update is necessary because of the expansion of knowledge in palliative care and child care in recent years. Congratulations to these authors for compiling such a magnificent book. I do hope it is widely disseminated and used.