International Association for Hospice & Palliative Care

International Association for Hospice & Palliative Care

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Promoting Hospice & Palliative Care Worldwide


2006; Volume 7, No 3, March



Many ways to help support palliative care.

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Liliana De Lima, MHA

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Many ways to help support palliative care.

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Hospice Palliative Care
Book Reviews

Dr. Woodruff, MD

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Book Reviews


Stephen Verderber and Ben J. Refuerzo

Taylor and Francis, 2005
ISBN 0-415-32713-X
RRP £62, $US116, $AU195
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This is a quite remarkable book written by two professors of architecture from the USA who really understand the concepts of hospice and palliative care and the needs of our patients and their families. According to Amazon, the only other book on hospice architecture was published in 1986.

The first section provides an architectural history of hospice and a general description of hospice and palliative care and the needs of the dying. The second and longest part of the book is about designing hospice – step-by-step, room-by-room. Every aspect of the hospice building is described in terms of how it will benefit the patients and their families. The importance of natural light, access to fresh air, and balconies or patios are just a few of the features stressed. The book is richly illustrated with many photographs and floor plans. The final part of the book consists of 18 case studies from hospices from around the world, again with many photographs and floor plans. It includes hospices for children as well as for adults, new hospices (free standing in the community, or on the hospital campus), and ‘adaptive’ construction of hospices in existing buildings.

If you are considering building a hospice or palliative care unit, you must have this book. It provides a wealth of information and examples that will allow you to decide what will best suit your patients and their families. It will also serve as a checklist, for those of us with no training in architecture, of all those features that we would otherwise forget or not even think of in the first place.

Highly recommended.

Progress in Pain Research and Management, Vol. 35

Stephen J. Gibson and Debra K. Weiner (Eds)

IASP Press, 2005
432 pp
ISBN 0-931092-59-0
RRP $US 81
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Longevity is only a blessing if you can maintain reasonable health and quality of life. It is reported that as many as two-thirds of older people are troubled with pain, making it a major and increasing public health problem in developed countries with ageing populations. But it seems the problem of pain in older persons is poorly appreciated, inappropriately assessed (if not simply ignored), and often inadequately treated. This comprehensive book from IASP sets out to address all the issues associated with pain in older persons, and has sections on age differences in pain (differences in neurobiology, perception, and in the functional and psychological effects of pain), pain assessment that is appropriate for older persons, the range of modalities available for treatment (including multidisciplinary pain clinics), and the management of common painful disorders in older persons.

This book will be a valuable resource for both those who care for the elderly (for whom it will provide a better understanding of pain and its management), and for those who are involved in pain management who will gain better insight into the biopsychosocial implications of being an older person.


Robert Becker and Richard Gamlin

Quay Books, 2004
131 pp
ISBN 1-85642-211-9
RRP £17, $US32
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This is an excellent introductory text for nursing students and nurses coming into contact with palliative care. It is clearly written with liberal use of bullet-point lists. Chapters cover palliative care nursing, the nursing skills involved, the management of pain and other symptoms, comfort measures, grief and bereavement, communication, ethical issues, spiritual care, sexuality, and care priorities in the last days of life. At the end of each chapter, the reader is referred to the appropriate sections of the UK Nursing and Midwifery Council’s Code of Professional Conduct. The information and wisdom contained in this book would be both beneficial and comforting at the time one is first exposed to clinical palliative care.

Lessons in Care-giving for the Dying

William H. Griffith

Judson Press, 2004
157 pp
ISBN 0-8170-1480-2
RRP $US15, £7.75
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Griffith presents 25 anectodal case histories that cover much of the broad spectrum of spiritual and religious problems and crises that arise when caring for the dying. After each story is a section titled Lessons for Caregivers, which provide many valuable insights. At the end of the book are another three chapters that relate to the spiritual and religious problems of health care professionals and clergy who are involved with caring for the dying. It is written from a very Christian perspective (Griffith is an ordained Baptist Clergyman) but the lessons contained in this book will help any palliative care professional, clergy, or lay carer deal better and more comfortably with those difficult religious and spiritual problems that crop up when caring for the dying.


THREADS OF HOPE. An Offering For Those Who Grieve 

Beth Rotondo

Stillpoint Press, 2004
100 pp
ISBN 0-9760165-0-8
RRP $US11.95

Available from Stillpoint Press, 157 Mt. Vernon Road East, Weymouth, MA 02189, USA

Written by an experienced bereavement counselor, this little book is based on 12 of the most common questions asked by those who grieve. The author’s style reflects her experience and I am sure this book will provide support and guidance for some experiencing the grieving process.

Roger Woodruff,
Director of Palliative Care, Austin Health,
Melbourne, Australia
(January 2006)

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