Reviewed by Jim Young
Published by SAGE Publications Ltd
Paperback ISBN: 9781446282007 £24.99
Hardcover ISBN: 9781446281994 £75.00
Ebook ISBN: 9781473911246 £29.99 (from eBooks)
Authored by Shelagh Wright this book is co-published with the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) and the author is donating her royalties to further nurse education in pain management.
Pain is a challenging area for any healthcare professional because we all suffer from pain and can too readily empathise with the patient in pain and with the fear that they experience; a fear that is adumbrated by the practitioner’s anxiety that they might not be able to understand or alleviate that pain.
This book addresses these fears by providing a comprehensive treatise on pain. Starting with a history of the understanding of the pathophysiology of pain that underpins treatment (an understanding that is coloured by the psychosocial aspects of the milieu) it moves on to consider the integral neural mechanisms associated with the experience of pain.
The detailed explanations of nociceptive stimuli, transduction and propagation offer a comfortable introduction before the book moves on to the perspective of the neuropsychophysiology that informs the patient-centred holistic care that is the very essence of this book.
Each chapter in the 336-page book starts off with a “Learning objectives” box and ends with a summary box, recommended reading list, and, as one would expect from a modern textbook, a collation of websites that are of relevance to the subject of the chapter. The chapters are also extensively referenced. The text is enlivened by the inclusion of “Clinical examples” illuminated by Q & As.
The assessment and measurement of pain is described along with the importance of communication in pain management. The practicalities of clinical practice and pharmacology are given due prominence whilst never losing sight of the biopsychosocial context.
Acute or chronic pain, non-malignant pain, or cancer pain and palliative care, the details of the management by the clinical team are all covered in this judicious book. The physiology of stress and a discussion of coping strategies and psychological, non-pharmacological approaches and complimentary therapies are also considered.
It is bang up to date with a rich and fascinating chapter on pain and human rights, at both national and international government level.
Although the book is aimed primarily at meeting the learning needs of undergraduate nurses, it will also provide the basic foundation for more advanced postgraduate courses in pain management in nursing practice.
I consider it to be essential reading for all healthcare professionals studying pain.