1. Jakobs, Bibiana Schlam

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by Christina Faull, MB BS, BMed Sci, MD, FRCP, Yvonne Carter, OBE, BSc, MB BS, MD, FMedSci, and Lilian Daniels, BNurs(Hons), RGN HV, Onccert Cert Ed PhDc Blackwell Publishing, 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148-5020 Tele: +44 (0)1865 776868, Fax: +44 (0)1865 714591 E-mail: emily.gillingham@oxon. Web site: ISBN: 1-405-12112-2 Price: $49.95, soft cover


The Handbook of Palliative Care, 2nd edition, is the new and improved update of the 1999 BMA Medical Book of the year. Drs. Faull and Carter and the highly regarded Dr. Daniels, pre-eminent in the domains of palliative care (PC), edit a masterful collaboration of learned discussions on assorted areas in PC. This is a comprehensive and authoritative text with a practical approach to the field of palliative medicine. It aims to embrace practical issues and provide an evidence-based and empirical approach. The supreme goal is to improve the patients' and families' quality of life by providing the highest quality PC possible. The book begins with a two-page foreword and preface that clearly delineate what the reader can expect from the text.


The editorial team and the contributors provide a broad professional approach through their multidisciplinary focus. The second edition responds to evaluative comments on the first and strengthens the text by adding new sections on heart failure, respiratory failure, and end-stage renal failure and providing coverage of medicine management and complementary medicine in PC. The text is further strengthened by discussion of important areas of multidisciplinary teamwork and ethical issues in palliative medicine. The handbook provides clear insight into many of the complex issues that arise in the delivery of PC, especially ethical issues, and is a valuable resource to all disciplines involved in palliative care in hospital, hospice, and community settings.


As a clinical nurse specialist in Palliative Care and a hospice nurse, I found the book an invaluable addition to my library resources. This book brings the reader up-to-date on recent developments in palliative medicine and the delivery of palliative care services; it has incorporated advances and symptom management of a diverse group of patients and communities. It should help a wide audience of generic and specialist practitioners in the delivery of palliative care in the range of clinical settings, but with a particular emphasis on the care of patients in the community by the primary care team.


The book is composed of 24 sections, including "The Context and Principles of PC," "Team working for Effective PC," "Needs and Social Exclusion at the End of Life," "User Voices in PC," "Ethical Issues in PC," "Communication Skills in PC," "Adapting to Death, Dying and Bereavement," "The Principles of Pain Management," "The Management of Gastrointestinal Symptoms and Advanced Liver Disease," "The Management of Respiratory Symptoms," "Managing Complications of Cancer," "The Management of People with Advanced Head and Neck Cancers," "PC for people with Progressive Neurological Disorders," "PC for People with HIV Infection and AIDS," "PC for Children," "PC for Adolescents and Young Adults," "PC in Advanced Heart Disease," "PC in Renal Disease," "Management of Lymphedema," "Pressure Area Care and the Management of Fungating Wounds," "Terminal Care and Dying," "Medicines Management in PC," "Complementary Approaches to Palliative Care," and a section of multiple resources and useful addresses linking to professional organizations in PC. The chapters are well thought out, and some have applicable case studies. The handbook is user friendly, with plenty of references at the end of each section. The annotated bibliography is an excellent resource if further information is needed on a topic. For example, in Chapter 21, "Terminal Care and Dying," the summary of the management of physical symptoms in the dying patient neatly guides the caregiver in step-by-step evaluations and consequent decisions required in the terminal patient's care and comfort. The format is concise and easily taught to staff.


Overall, I was impressed with the quality and accuracy of the information. The title of the book, "Handbook of Palliative Care," is appropriate because most areas involving PC are discussed throughout.


I cannot end this review without mentioning that it was interesting to see what is going on in the United Kingdom compared to applications here in the US. Notable differences included some medication uses and religious practices and minority communities. Chapters on PC involving violent trauma-from rape to accidents to shootings to war injuries, which are so present in our American society-were absent.