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Manage your pain: practical and positive ways of adapting to chronic pain

Manage your pain: practical and positive ways of adapting to chronic pain
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  Book review Manage Your Pain. Practical and PositiveWays of Adapting to Chronic Pain Michael Nicholas, Alan Molloy Lois Tonkinand Lee Beeston Souvenir Press ISBN 0-285-63679-0;2003; 224 pp; Price: £12.99This book is a clearly written, easy to read self-helpmanual for chronic pain patients. Within the first fewpages the authors provide a simple self-assessmentscoring system allowing potential readers an opportunityto judge whether the book is appropriate for them.Having decided that it might be, the reader is takencarefully through each of the 19 chapters that are allwritten in a sympathetic and understanding style. Theydeal with topics such as what is chronic pain, workingwith your doctor and the use of relaxation and atten-tional techniques. In so far as the main aim of the text isto provide informative explanations and helping tech-niques the authors achieve their goal with accomplishedease. The use of pictures, particularly in the chapterdealing with exercises, is thoughtful, although perhaps atouch sparse throughout the rest of the text. Similarly,the use of diagrams and tables may have been a littlemore colourful or imaginative although their simplicityleads to an uncluttered and undaunting flavour.What this book is not (and never claims to be) isan authoritative and comprehensive text for healthprofessionals on the issues surrounding adult chronicpain. Perhaps what the health professional can gain fromreading it is a further insight into the minds of chronicpain patients and the coping strategies available to manyof these patients. This insight has been gained by theauthors’ clear combined wealth of experience in dealingwith such a group.Sadly only four pages are devoted to the problem of children with chronic pain or the children of adults withchronic pain. This is probably an opportunity missed asthere is a growing number of such children who might bewell served by a greater volume of text written in simplelanguage and with the use of imaginative illustrations.A further omission is the complete absence of an index.Whilst the book is designed to be read from cover to cover by self-motivated patients, an index might have allowedthe less-motivated reader the chance to glean valuablenuggets of information pertinent to their individualcircumstances. A selection of relevant references is provi-ded at the end of the book but is by no means anexhaustive literature review. Such a bibliography wouldhave been excessive for the intended audience in any caseand may indeed have put potential readers off.In summary I would recommend this book to any adultpatient having to deal with the multifactorial issuessurrounding chronic pain. As a self-help guide it achievesits aims with consummate ease. Mark Thomas Great Ormond Street Hospital for ChildrenLondon WC1N 3JH, UK Email: thomam@gosh.nhs.ukPediatric Anesthesia 2004  14 : 286 286    2004 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
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