Reviews

Pain Comorbidities: Understanding and Treating the Complex Patient

This book was written by credible authors who are all experts in their fields. A lengthy and expensive tome, it would be a useful addition to any library, but its cost probably precludes individual ownership.

It describes how the occurrence of multiple concomitant medical conditions in the same patient is common in the clinical setting, and is becoming increasingly frequent with a progressive ageing population. It says that multi-morbidity in older people ranges from around 55% to 98%.

My experience from clinical practice is that patients with more than one concurrent condition will have more than one source of pain. Diagnosis and treatment planning for patients in pain with complex symptoms can sometimes be difficult, often requiring a multi or interdisciplinary approach.

One of the dilemmas facing any clinician treating patients in pain is comorbidities. This book emphasises the importance of treating the patient ‘in the round’, rather than focusing on a single element of treatment.

This book, while rather a ‘heavy’ read, would be useful to anyone trying to understand patients with complex healthcare needs in more depth, and to ensure that any treatment recommended is appropriate for all their conditions and symptoms.

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