Principles of Pain Management for Anaesthetists

In the preface, the two authors state that they produced this book in response to a request by trainee anaesthetists for a text which would give them the core knowledge required for their training. Therefore, the initial impression may be that this book is an ‘introduction’ with the...
Auteur :
Coniam
Editeur :
HODDER
Date de parution :
25 novembre 2005
ISBN 13 :
9780340763131
Nombre de pages :
280
Type :
Broché
Descriptif détaillé : Principles of Pain Management for Anaesthetists

In the preface, the two authors state that they produced this book in response to a request by trainee anaesthetists for a text which would give them the core knowledge required for their training. Therefore, the initial impression may be that this book is an ‘introduction’ with the information kept to a relatively ‘basic’ level. However, this is clearly not the case.
The soft-back book is divided into four main sections consisting of, physiology and pharmacology of pain, acute pain management, chronic pain management and a relatively small final section on pain in malignant disease. My expectation was that the text would be written in a manner which would include both introductory elements for those starting and move to discuss the core knowledge for those with more experience. However, I found that the 260 pages contain a significant number of bullet-point lists, both within the text and in tables printed in a relatively small typeface, in a style which was relatively didactic and with the information condensed to keep the book compact. Therefore, as a tool to learn facts or revise them for an examination, or as a check to remind oneself of details learnt previously, the book clearly has a purpose and will find a justifiable place on many departmental bookshelves.

However, the concise style of the book combined with a relative lack of discussion, did not seem to lend itself to a trainee gaining insight into how to manage patients, or into the decision-making processes. There are no external references at all to research publications and only very limited cross references or details for further reading at the end of some chapters. Therefore, the lack of discussion and information on alternative perspectives will not in my view encourage the trainee to learn how to make decisions when a first choice fails to be effective.

Despite the limited number of authors, I found some inconsistencies in detail and some lack of detail disconcerting. Whilst the didactic presentation of procedures may reflect local practice, they do not give a clear representation of differences which may be in common practice elsewhere. Therefore, one would want to caution the inexperienced trainee against the perception that the text describes procedures in full detail or as the only way of doing something.

In contrast, the extensive lists within the book are a very effective aid-memoir and the concise style precludes the need for summaries. There are several case scenarios at the end of some chapters. The different styles may reflect different authorship, but some describe a single process for a patient with a particular diagnosis whilst others prompt a more investigative approach. More questions and answers within these scenarios may overcome some of the concerns regarding decision making for the trainee.

Overall this book will provide a good basic knowledge for the final FRCA exam but the reader will have to search for other references and texts to provide the more complete picture if greater involvement in pain management is proposed.

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