Pain, Suffering and Healing: Insights and Understanding

Pain, Suffering and Healing: Insights and Understanding

by Peter Wemyss-Gorman, Murray Wallace
     
 

As our understanding of the mechanisms of the brain and nervous system that underlie the conscious experience of pain has increased over the past 60 years, so too has the field of pain management. What began as almost exclusively the domain of anaesthetists has become multidisciplinary, and now comprises many other specialisms including neurology, psychology,

Overview

As our understanding of the mechanisms of the brain and nervous system that underlie the conscious experience of pain has increased over the past 60 years, so too has the field of pain management. What began as almost exclusively the domain of anaesthetists has become multidisciplinary, and now comprises many other specialisms including neurology, psychology, nursing, occupational therapy and physiotherapy. This spate of activity has been paralleled by a similar growth in research: in neurophysiology, psychology and pharmacology as well as clinical medicine. Simultaneously, the pharmaceutical industry has spent billions of pounds and dollars in the search for better drugs for relieving pain. This ground-breaking book is compiled by former contributors to The Special Interest Group for Philosophy and Ethics of the British Pain Society. The issues discussed include satisfactory relief of chronic pain, the inadequacy of scientific biomedicine in offering answers, and ethical problems arising in pain medicine. 'Suffering cannot be found in a laboratory test or imaging study; it is only observable by communicating with the sufferer. The eleven chapters in this book approach this conundrum from vastly different perspectives, some highly personal and others broadly social. Issues such as the interface between the physician and the pharmaceutical industry are also presented. Each chapter describes a facet of the problems of suffering and some of the available paths to recovery.' John D Loeser in the Foreword

Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Tariq M. Malik, MD (University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine)
Description: Chronic pain is not a sensation, but a state of feeling or emotion not amenable to simple injection or medication, affecting every aspect of a person's life. This book brings home that message. In a series of brief chapters, the authors convincingly articulate their point.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide total care to chronic pain patients. There is a lot of focus on the physical understanding and treatment of pain at the expense of total patient care. This book is about the missing part of patient care - improving understanding and management of pain patients.
Audience: Physicians who treat patients with chronic pain conditions — primary care physicians, neurologists, chronic pain practitioners — are the intended audience.
Features: The book is in fact a series of essays by different authors with different backgrounds covering different aspects of pain. It starts with the multidimensional nature of pain, comprised of neural architecture and psychosocial components. Then it tries to explain suffering and pain behavior that develops with chronic pain. The chapter on the purposes of a pain clinic is a must read for any budding pain physician. The latter half of the book outlines different principles of managing complex pain patients or their complications. Numerous real-life cases of people illustrate aspects of pain management. This is not a textbook of pain. It does not provide any diagnostic or therapeutic tools. It does not have any algorithms for disease management or tables of drug pharmacology. It is a book on what constitutes pain and what it means to treat pain patients in a complete fashion. The book is based mostly on the personal experience and knowledge of the authors who share their views about human pain and suffering.
Assessment: This is not a medical book in a traditional sense, nor is it a hefty book on the psychology of pain. It is not about diagnosing or treating pain disorders, either physical or mental. It is about understanding human pain and suffering, which is what we, as physicians, need to effectively treat a person in pain.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781846193262
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
11/01/2011
Pages:
168
Product dimensions:
6.70(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.50(d)

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