1. Fitzgerald, Maura RN, MS, MA, PCNS-BC

Article Content

M. I. Weintraub, R. Mamtani, and M. S. Micozzi, eds. New York: Springer Publishing Company. Date of publication: May 12, 2008. Price: $69.00, ISBN 978-0-8261-2874-4. 440 pp.


The purpose of "Complementary and Integrative Medicine in Pain Management" is to acquaint the reader with complementary and alternative (CAM) therapies for the treatment of pain and related issues. This is an important topic given the number of individuals suffering from chronic pain and the need for more and better options for pain management. Although the text adequately outlines the history, mechanisms of action, and research evidence for 18 therapies, its impact is lessened by the age of the research cited and the inclusion of conditions that are not related to pain.


This book is directed at practitioners working with adult patients. The authors note that they have chosen to discuss CAM therapies that they consider to be more mainstream and for which the best evidence exists-avoiding topics that "have yet to show benefit or might even present an unjustifiable risk to patients."(pxvi) The book is divided into 4 sections: "Mind-Body and Bioenergetic Modalities," "Manual and Hand-Mediated Modalities," "Asian Medial Therapies and Herbal Medicine," and "Plant-Based Therapies and Homeopathy." There are a total of 19 chapters, including a final chapter on "Ethical and Legal Implications." Generally, each chapter includes a history of the CAM therapy, discussion of mechanism of action, evidence-based research, and clinical examples. The chapters vary significantly in length and in the amount of discussion devoted to each of the chapter sections; a number of chapters would have benefited from closer editing. In many chapters, most of the research cited is before 2000. Many authors have included a discussion of conditions that are often comorbid with pain, such as sleep disorders, anxiety, and depression, but others have included conditions such as hiccough, seizure disorders, and nicotine addiction, which do not relate to the book topic. Many chapters include helpful tables or diagrams. Since many of these therapies will not be offered by conventional practitioners, more information on how to access and evaluate CAM providers would have been useful.


This book provides historical perspectives and descriptions of a number of CAM therapies used in pain management. The clinical nurse specialist might find it a useful reference; however, the age of the research cited and the inclusion of conditions not related to the topic detract from its benefits.