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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: David O. Staats, MD (University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center)
Description: This multiauthored book about pain in older persons is Volume 35 of the series Progress in Pain Management and Research, published under the aegis of the International Association for the Study of Pain.
Purpose: Its purpose is to summarize the state-of-the-art in understanding pain in older persons — what about it is different and how to use knowledge of geriatrics as well to effectively assess and treat pain in older persons.
Audience: The audience here is wide ranging — physicians who treat older persons, pain treatment centers, and the multidisciplinary team that provides treatment of pain in older persons. The authors here are all leading experts in the field and bring together a broad range of expertise.
Features: The book is divided into three parts: the nature of pain in older persons; assessment and treatment of pain in older persons; and common pain syndromes in older persons. The comprehensiveness of the discussion in all three of these areas is excellent, with excellent algorithms and annotations. A useful addition might be a discussion of what factors contribute to poor assessment and treatment of pain in older persons.
Assessment: The preface notes the lack of discussion of pain in most geriatric medicine curricula; what a true statement this is. This book is therefore a most welcome addition to the literature. It has depth, lucidity, and practical information that should fill the gaps in the approach to assessing and managing pain in older persons. Good relief of pain translates into such great improvement in quality of life that a fundamental understanding of pain in the elderly should be in the repertoire of every good geriatrician. Thus this book will enjoy the wide readership it deserves.