Edited by Eduardo Bruera, Irene Higginson, Charles Von Grunten and Tatsuya Morita
Published by CRC Press
This is a very impressive and detailed textbook/reference source and deserves to do well and be widely read not only in this country but throughout the world. Palliative medicine is a huge subject which covers a vast amount of medicine and I think this book is up to the job in helping a practitioner from a number of specialties, manage a wide range of situations, some common and some not so common. I like the title which acknowledges not only its core subject matter, palliative medicine but also includes “supportive care.” This philosophy is reflected in the text within the book.
There are four editors two from the United States, one from the United Kingdom and one from Japan. There is an impressive array of contributors, some of whom come from outside these countries just mentioned. Not only does this provide a global appeal but it gives a global perspective. For a big book of over 1300 pages, it is well built with sturdy hardback covers designed for regular use. It is primarily a text based book but has good sprinklings of boxes, tables and diagrams and is well referenced.
There are 132 chapters available and what impressed me most about this book was the sheer volume of topics and subject matter covered. In fact, there is enough here to help most members of the palliative care team, as it covers most of the areas that they need to know about. From a medical perspective, this seems to provide a pretty comprehensive coverage of the huge list of problems which a palliative care patient can present with. Some of these can be very tricky and I am sure in most situations, this book will provide words of wisdom and assistance. However it also offers help in areas that are not always well covered in other reference sources. I found chapter 121 titled “Managing communication challenges with patients and families” particularly useful and practical. This is just a simple example of what great material can be found in this book.
One of the big positives of this book is that it can provide the reader with information that they may not previously considered or thought about. From this perspective, it is not just a reference book to look up the answer to a query but also provides value by simply opening it up, looking at the index and reading one of the chapters for educational value.
This book is ideal for hospices, community-based palliative care teams as well as general practitioners and oncologists. Bundled with the price is access to an e book edition which is available on the web, tablet and smartphone which adds greatly to the investment of purchasing this book. This is not a cheap book but if you are someone who is likely to refer to it on a regular basis then I suspect you will not be disappointed.
Dr Harry Brown