International Association for Hospice & Palliative Care

International Association for Hospice & Palliative Care

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Promoting Hospice & Palliative Care Worldwide


2008; Volume 9, No 4, April

Roger Woodruff, MD


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Learning from Students in the Health SciencesA new section

Palliative Care Book of the Month and Book Reviews

Founding IAHPC Board Member

Regional Report – Romania

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Hospice Palliative Care Book Reviews &
The Palliative Care Book of the Month

Roger Woodruff, MD

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Book of the Month


Harry van Bommel
Legacies, 2006
310 pp
ISBN 1-55307-021-6
RRP $US30.00, e-Book $US25.00.

This is the sixth edition of this book, published 20 years after the first, and it boasts more than 100,000 copies in print. The latter figure tells me that the book is indeed as useful and practical as it appears.

Here is just about everything that a caregiver, a relative, or the patients themselves might want to know about palliative care. The material is presented clearly, in an easy to understand manner. Sections describe hospice and palliative care, physical needs, emotional and spiritual needs, information needs and community resources. There are lots of practical tips to help the caregiver/relative to provide care and at the same time care for themselves. The next time a caregiver or relative asks where they can find out more about palliative care, I will recommend this book.

The book is also available as a downloadable PDF e-book or you can subscribe and read it free, on-line, at Legacies

Roger Woodruff
Director of Palliative Care, Austin Health, Melbourne, Australia
(March 2008)

Book Reviews

Issues in Health Care Delivery

Arthur E. Blank and Sean O’Mahony (Eds)
Springer, 2007
233 pp
ISBN 978-0-387-70874-4
RRP $US69.95, £42.50.

‘By 2050, 22% of patients are anticipated to live to be 85 years or older and expect to face 3 to 6 years of life with progressive disability.’ That somewhat alarming statistic sets the scene for a serious discussion about the delivery of palliative care in the future.  The first set of chapters describes the complexity of the clinical needs in different health care settings and the barriers that exist to the provision of that care. The second section has chapters on palliative care for cancer, HIV/AIDS, chronic lung disease, chronic heart failure and Alzheimer’s disease. The third section deals with the special palliative care needs of children and the elderly. The final chapters address broader issues including Quality Improvement and how to make the business case for palliative care.

Most of the contributors to this book seem to be clinicians, which gives it a very practical, clinical slant. The book is both thorough and thought-provoking and should be required reading for anybody involved in planning the future development of palliative care.



Lorna Foyle and Janis Hostad (Eds)
Radcliffe Publishing, 2007
280 pp
ISBN 978 1 84619 056 8
RRP £29.95, $US65.00

This is the second volume in the Dimensions in Cancer and Palliative Care Education series. The first, Delivering Cancer and Palliative Care Education (Radcliffe, 2004) was reviewed in this column. This book contains a wealth of material on teaching and learning theories and techniques, much of it innovative, some of it inspiring. The experience and expertise of the contributors is obvious. It is a must for anyone responsible for cancer and palliative care education programs, and would be very helpful for clinicians with teaching responsibilities.


Incorporating Complementary Medicine into Conventional Cancer Care

Lorenzo Cohen and Maurie Markman (Eds)
Humana Press, 2008
216 pp
ISBN 978-1-58829-869-0
RRP $US79.95

Integrative oncology is to do with the incorporation of nonconventional treatment modalities into conventional care of people with cancer. It includes clinical medicine, which is rigorously evidence-based, education (for both patients and professionals), and research. The first section of the book is an overview of integrative oncology and includes chapters on ethics, communication, and the potential risks (both physical and psychological) of nonconventional therapies. The second section describes the integrative oncology programs at five major cancer treatment centers—the MD Anderson in Houston, Memorial Sloan-Kettering in New York, the Dana-Farber in Boston, Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. The final part of the book describes research on mind-body relationships, herbs and other botanicals, and acupuncture. I enjoyed dipping into this book. The changes to the practice of clinical cancer medicine are long overdue and the science (c.f. anecdotes) was refreshing.



Rita Pfund
Radcliffe Publishing, 2007
258 pp
ISBN 978-1-84619-019-3
RRP £24.95, $US45.00.

Paediatric palliative care seems to be developing rapidly. In the UK, the ACT Care Pathways published by the Association for Children with Life-Threatening or Terminal Conditions and their Families (ACT), and the National Service Framework for Children, Young People and Maternity Services (NSF) have moved to standardise palliative care for life-limited children and young people and their families. The first part of the book provides an overview of paediatric palliative care, the ways it differs from adult palliative care, and explores the emotional safety needs of children and young people. The second part discusses nine different clinical scenarios in paediatric palliative care, explored in the context of the documents mentioned above. The final section is about safe practice and expanding boundaries and exploring personal issues and attitudes. The book is well set-out with the liberal use of lists. The enquiry-based learning style is appealing and stimulating. Although the title says Nursing, I think this book would be valuable to any health care professional involved with paediatric palliative care.



CD: Warm Breezes
CD: Classic Comfort

ROOM 217. Music for Life’s Journey

Available from (site is secure, international shipping available)
Price $CAN 19.99 each, plus shipping

Bev Foster and the team from Room 217 (who produced Spirit Wings, Gentle Waters, Celtic Whisperings and Hugs and Kisses a year or so ago) have brought out another two CDs of music for use in the palliative care setting.

Warm Breezes mixes favourite Boomer generation tunes in a sensitive and tasteful way. From the Beach Boys to the Beatles, Warm Breezes will recall moments of the past and offer a soothing backdrop to life’s circumstances.

Classic Comfort is comprised of some of the greatest piano music ever written, from J.S. Bach to Tchaikovsky. Skillfully and tenderly performed, these instinctively familiar melodies are both calming and refreshing.


A Child’s Book about Loss

Laura Olivieri
ISBN 978-1-4357-0091-8
RRP  $US13.94

Based on her experience of being acutely widowed when she had a three-year-old son, this richly illustrated book for younger children is to help them understand and overcome loss and/or the death of someone close.



Rev. Sam Oliver
Airleaf Publishing, 2005
14 pp
ISBN 978-1-59453-464-5
RRP $US9.95

This is a children’s book by Reverend Sam Oliver, whose What the Dying Teach Us: Lessons on Living was reviewed in this column previously. A Fish Named Ed is a book on loss, transition and healing. It is an attempt to demonstrate that the experiences of our lives give us internal strength to move through many of life’s changes. The story is kept simple but I think it would be useful in helping bereaved children.

Roger Woodruff
Director of Palliative Care, Austin Health, Melbourne, Australia
(March 2008)

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