Reviews

Pain Comorbidities: Understanding and Treating the Complex Patient

In my experience of clinical practice, patients with more than one concurrent condition have more than one source of pain. Diagnosis and treatment planning for patients in pain with complex symptoms can sometimes be difficult, and often requires a multi- or interdisciplinary approach

In my experience of clinical practice, patients with more than one concurrent condition have more than one source of pain. Diagnosis and treatment planning for patients in pain with complex symptoms can sometimes be difficult, and often requires a multi- or interdisciplinary approach.

The authors of this book, all of whom are experts in their fields, describe how the phenomenon of individual patients having multiple concomitant medical conditions is becoming increasingly frequent as the population as a whole ages.

Comorbidities are one of the dilemmas facing clinicians who treat patients in pain and, as the book notes, multiple morbidity in older people ranges from 55% to as high as 98%.

The authors emphasise the importance of treating such patients ‘in the round’, rather than focusing on a single element of treatment.

The book should be useful to professionals trying to understand patients with complex healthcare needs in more depth, and to ensure that the treatments they are recommended are appropriate for each patient’s conditions and symptoms.

As a lengthy and expensive tome, and rather a ‘heavy’ read, this book would be a useful addition to any library. However, its cost probably precludes ownership by individual nurses.

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