2011; Volume 12, No 03, March

Roger Woodruff, MD


Main Index:

IAHPC's Homepage

Table of Contents

Message from the Chair and Executive Director

Updates from 2 IAHPC Board Members

Two IAHPC Traveling Scholars’ Reports

Article of the Month

Palliative Care Book of the Month and Other Reviews

Literature on Global issues

Postgraduate curricula

New and renewing list of members plus donors


Webmaster’s Corner - Website of the month

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Palliative Care Book of the Month and other Reviews

Palliative Care Book of the Month


Claud Regnard and Mervyn Dean

Radcliffe Publishing, 2010
366 pp
ISBN 978 184619 3569
RRP £29.99 $US42.99

This is the expanded and up-dated sixth edition of the well-known and highly regarded text. It is a clinical decision guide for symptom relief in patients with advanced disease, both malignant and non-malignant. The essential management advice in each section is set out in a table, forming a clinical decision algorithm that is based on patient information. There is a lot of additional information about the diagnosis and management of symptoms given in the text, which is well referenced. This edition is enhanced by the use of a two-colour format that emphasises major points. My only reservation was that the management of psychosocial symptoms was more general and lacked some of the clarity and depth of the sections on physical problems.

The clinical decision tables in this book are an invaluable resource for moments when difficult or unusual problems are encountered, or symptoms respond poorly to apparently appropriate therapy. As I have said before, it deserves to be on the library shelf of any palliative care unit.


Other Reviews


E. Joanna Chambers, Edwina A. Brown and Michael J. Germain (Eds)

Oxford University Press, 2010
312 pp
ISBN 978–0-19-956003-5
RRP £49.95 $US98.50

This second edition is a testament to the evolving involvement of the principles of palliative care in the management of patients with advanced renal disease. Major steps have been taken on both sides of the Atlantic to address who should have dialysis and who may not benefit from it, and how to manage those patients who do not have or choose to discontinue dialysis. The renal fraternity seems to have taken it upon themselves to develop supportive and palliative care services appropriate to their patient population with impressive results from demonstration programs. This book should be required reading for all nephrologists and their trainees and it will be a very useful reference for anyone involved in palliative care, for whom the chapters on symptom control and the information about medication adjustments will be particularly useful.



Eric Breitbart

1h 23min
In French, or with English subtitles
Available from [email protected]
Cost: $US50.00 plus postage (20% discount for IAHPC members)

This is a documentary about an inpatient palliative care unit in the town of Gardanne in southern France, made by New York filmmaker Eric Breitbart. Considerable care has gone into constructing this film, which provides a portrait of all who are involved—patients and families, doctors and nurses, other health care professionals, the kitchen staff, the cleaners, even the resident dog and cat. Some of what is portrayed is very familiar and probably universal—the love and care, the devotion. Other things were different to the system to which I am accustomed. The reluctance to consider any tube feeding because the tasting of food is such an important part of life. Should staff be identifiable by some sort of uniform, however informal, or does that impair their relationship with the patients? Would I be comfortable having lunch with all the patients and families and other members of staff in a communal dining area? This is a well-made film of a real hospice at work, with (for me) a few little cultural differences to consider.

A clip from the film may be viewed at http://www.breitbartfilms.com/LaMaison.html

The film is available from Breitbart at [email protected] . In our discussions, he agreed to consider a cheaper price for persons in developing countries in a similar manner to the IAHPC membership fees. It’s a good film, so if you would like to have it but are concerned about the cost, write to him.


CD: COUNTRY ROAD. Music for Life’s Journey

Bev Foster, Room 217

RRP $CAN 19.99 $US 18.99
Available at http://www.room217.ca

This is the eighth collection of music from Bev Foster and Room 217 for the palliative care setting. Classic country tunes played on a guitar and a fiddle that are peaceful and comforting to listen to. It is also the type of music that evokes memories, music to reminisce by. I would happily recommend this to any palliative care service looking for another disk of appropriate music.

Reviews by Dr.Roger Woodruff – February 2011

Dr. Woodruff is a Lifetime Member of the IAHPC Board and lives in Australia. His biography is at:

View over 100+ IAHPC hospice & palliative care book reviews

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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