Dr Sarah Russell, Head of Research at Hospice UK, reviews a new reference book for clinicians written in the form of flashcards.
Hospice and Palliative Medicine and Supportive Care Flashcards is a comprehensive, evidence-based book of flashcards for clinicians. Written as vignettes in a question and answer format, the flashcards are designed to be highly readable and serve as a source of fast answers to clinical questions in the field.
There is a total of 300 flashcards organised into 40 chapters which follow the core curriculum of American Board of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Each chapter follows the format of questions, multiple choice answers, the correct answer and further reading. This makes it very accessible and easy to pick up at a moment’s notice.
The flashcards cover a wide range of topics from the principles of hospice, palliative and supportive care, symptom assessment and management, pharmacological interactions, cultural, psychosocial, spiritual issues, grief, bereavement and family care, conversations and communication skills, last days of life and palliative sedation to clinical and ethical decision making and palliative care in a variety of settings and disease groups as well as burnout and research in terminally ill patients.
Editors Professor Bruera and Associate Professor Sriram Yennurajalingam from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center are no strangers to clinical practice, education and research collaboration. Yennurajalingam is Associate Professor at the Department of Palliative Care, Rehabilitation, and Integrative Medicine, and Bruera is Professor of Medicine and Medical Director of the Department of Supportive Care Center.
They previously published the Oxford American Handbook of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and Supportive Care as well as research including Association between Advanced Cancer Patients’ Perception of Curability and Patients’ Characteristics, Decisional Control Preferences, Symptoms, and End-of-Life Quality Care Outcomes and Palliative radiation therapy in the last 30 days of life: A systematic review.
Together they have brought contributions from 38 experts from across the United States, Canada and Italy which read like a ‘who’s who’ of hospice, palliative and supportive care practice and research.
What is helpful about the flashcards is that they are very easy to dip in and out of. Each chapter stands on its own and they do not need to be read consecutively. Whilst discretion needs to be taken in that the volume is aimed at those taking the American Board of Hospice and Palliative Medicine exams, the content is internationally relevant. It could also be useful for other health care professionals such as nurses. My only observation is that whilst it is a handy pocket-sized resource, the paper is somewhat flimsy, and I have already needed to repair it. I note however that as well as the spiral bound edition, it is available via Kindle.
Hospice and Palliative Medicine and Supportive Care Flashcards is published by the Oxford University Press