Description: This multiauthored pocket-sized book on pain in older persons is part of a series of works on pain.
Purpose: Its purpose is to give young physicians and other healthcare professionals a ready guide to assessing and treating pain in older persons.
Audience: The audience includes medical students, house officers, and young physicians. Hospitalists would profit from this book. The authors are all well versed in approaching pain in older persons.
Features: The 14 chapters range from epidemiology of pain to assessment in different settings. There are discussions of how other members of the team physiotherapists and occupational therapists come into play. The chapter on depression and pain is excellent. Throughout there are helpful, short clinical vignettes. The ones on demented persons being unable to localize their pain or pain presenting as behavioral changes are particularly good. Glaring in its absence is a discussion of neuropathic pain, considering how common and morbid and difficult to treat this is.
Assessment: This is a wonderful short monograph on pain. The book differentiates the pain patient from the addict: addicts live to use drugs; pain patients use drugs to live. This is so difficult to achieve in practice because of deep unconscious psychological issues. That is why this book, which spells out the approach to pain in older persons so clearly and effectively, deserves wide readership and use.