2008; Volume 9, No 11, November

Roger Woodruff, MD


Main Index:

IAHPC's Homepage

News Table of Contents

Message from the Chair and Executive Director

Professor Vittorio Ventafridda dies

IAHPC Traveling Scholar’s report - Dr. Jinxiang Li, Chengdu University, China

Palliative Care Book of the Month and Book Reviews

Article of the Month

Regional Reports by IAHPC Board Members – USA and Scotland

Regional Report from the United Arab Emirates

Scientific paper from the literature

Announcements, fellowships and scholarships

Call for IAHPC Board Member Nominations

World Institute of Pain extends abstract submission date

Donate to the IAHPC

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Palliative Care Book of the Month


Nigel Sykes, Michael I. Bennett and Chun-Su Wuan (Eds)
Hodder Arnold, 2008
443 pp
ISBN 978-0-340-94007-5
RRP  $AU295.00 £99.00  $US 195.00
Review copy supplied by Hachette Livre Australia

This book forms part of Hodder Arnold’s impressive 4-volume Clinical Pain Management series; the other volumes are Acute Pain, Chronic Pain and Practice and Procedures.

Pain is divided into four parts.  The first reviews the pathophysiology, epidemiology, and clinical assessment (including psychological evaluation) of cancer pain.  There are also chapters on teamworking, the role of the non-professional caregiver, barriers to cancer pain relief, and ethical issues.  The second and third parts detail the drug and non-drug therapies for cancer pain.   The final section covers cancer pain management in special situations including children, older persons, and where there is also substance abuse.

The book is well set out and is a pleasure to browse.  Each chapter begins with a list of Key Learning Points and there is a reasonably liberal use of lists and tables.  Where possible, the quality or level of evidence is shown in the text, graded according to the Oxford Bandolier system.  This, together with the highlighting of important papers and reviews in the reference lists at the end of each chapter, helps focus the reader on what the evidence base really is.

This book belongs on the library shelf in both the medical oncology and palliative care departments, where it will be a useful resource for both experienced physicians and trainees.

Roger Woodruff
(September 2008)


Book Reviews


Nigel Hartley and Malcolm Payne (Eds)
Jessica Kingsley Publishes, 2008
205 pp
ISBN 978-1-84310-591-6
RRP £18.99 $US34.95
Review copy supplied by Footprint Books www.footprint.com.au

This book is largely about the development of the Creative Arts program at St. Christopher’s Hospice in London, where Nigel Hartley and Malcolm Payne are Director of Supportive Care and Director of Psychosocial and Spiritual Care, respectively.  The first part of the book deals with the development and management of a Creative Arts program, including the many and varied stumbling blocks that may be encountered.  There is a chapter on research and audit in Palliative Care Creative Arts.  The second part of the book provides a description of many different Creative Arts in practice, from pottery and painting, to craft work to art therapy, music therapy and even the digital arts.  The enthusiasm of the therapists for their clinical work is obvious and the discussion of the problems with which they have had to struggle in order to make the work meaningful for the patients is instructive.  Whilst smaller and less well-funded hospices may view the program at St. Christopher’s with envy, this book provides a useful statement of the principles and practices for Creative Arts in the palliative care setting.


A patient-centered approach

Geoffrey Mitchell
Radcliffe Publishing, 2008
168 pp
ISBN 978-1-85775-739-2
RRP  £24.95 $US49.95

This book is primarily directed at family physicians and general practitioners, underlining the need for patient-centered management in end-of-life care.  In the concluding chapter, Mitchell says that the patient-centered clinical method has six elements – exploring both the disease and the illness experience, understanding the whole person, finding common ground, incorporating illness and health promotion, enhancing the patient-clinician relationship, and being realistic.  Whilst the jacket claims this book provides a fresh look at managing palliative care patients, as one who works in palliative care I did not find anything new or revolutionary.  However, I think that this would be an excellent book for anyone running short courses on palliative care for family physicians or general practitioners.  Whilst it lacks the medical detail of pain and symptom management (which is easily accessed elsewhere), it provides an excellent overview of the principles of practising palliative care for family physicians and general practitioners.


Working with adult bereavement

Brenda Mallon
Sage Publications, 2008
190 pp
ISBN 978-1-4129-3415-2
RRP  $AU64.00 $US39.95 £19.99
Review copy provided by Footprint Books www.footprint.com.au

This is an excellent introductory text for anyone who provides bereavement support to adults, whether in a professional or voluntary capacity.  It is well written and very down-to-earth and practical; I didn’t feel overwhelmed by masses of theory.  Well-chosen illustrative case histories enhance the text and there are exercises to help you gain insight into your own experiences and attitudes.


Quality care to the End-of-life

Marianne La Porte Matzo and Deborah Witt Sherman (Eds)
Springer Publishing Company, 2006
476 pp
ISBN 978-082615-794-2
RRP $US75.00 £38.95

This book addresses the content, knowledge, attitudes, skills, undergraduate and graduate behavioural outcomes, and appropriate teaching and learning strategies to achieve the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) End-of-Life nursing competencies.  The book is set out in four sections.  Part I addresses the needs of patients, families and health care providers with an emphasis on a holistic approach to care.  Part II addresses social and professional issues in palliative care followed by Part III that covers psychosocial considerations.  The last section covers the physical aspects of dying, particularly pain and symptom management.  At the end of each chapter, there is a table setting out what is required to achieve competency in each of the various aspects of end-of-life care.  This book should be a valuable resource for those involved with both undergraduate and postgraduate nursing education in palliative care.


A return to faith through an Hawaiian doorway

Joyce Hauoli Carter
Outskirts Press, 2008
239 pp
ISBN 978-1-4327-2172-5
RRP $US12.95

This is one woman’s account of a journey of self-discovery and reawakening faith.  The sincerity is intense, but whether or not you connect with her story will depend on things very personal.  For me, conversing with angels and journalling with my ancestors does not sit easily

Roger Woodruff
(October, 2008)

Note for authors: If you wish to have your book reviewed, please send to:

Dr Roger Woodruff
IAHPC Bookshop Editor
210 Burgundy St, Suite 9
Heidelberg, Victoria 3084

Note: Review copies become property of IAHPC and are not returned to the author. Only palliative care related books which are previously approved will be reviewed. Due to the large number of requests, we can't provide exact dates of when books will be reviewed.

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