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Book and Media Reviews
January 14, 2009

Pain in Children: A Practical Guide for Primary Care

JAMA. 2009;301(2):220-221. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.919

Pain in Children: A Practical Guide for Primary Care will prove a useful and practical addition to the armamentarium of any primary care or hospital-based clinician caring for children and their families. The book is a comprehensive and practical guide to the diagnosis and management of acute and chronic pain conditions in children.

The book, organized into 5 major sections, makes the topic of pediatric pain accessible and understandable. The authors begin by presenting a general overview of pediatric pain, followed by an excellent review of acute, recurrent, and chronic pediatric pain conditions. Of utmost value is the focus on family-centered care and the detailed approach to diagnosing and treating 5 of the most common chronic or recurring pain conditions affecting children. Each chapter is well organized and ends with useful summaries of take-home points. The authors of the initial chapters provide a comprehensive review of the literature supporting the premise that failure to adequately treat pain in children has both immediate and long-term adverse consequences. The authors emphasize the ethical obligation practitioners have to manage pediatric pain. According to Walco et al, “All health professionals should provide care that reflects the technological growth of the field. The assessment and treatment of pain in children are important parts of pediatric practice, and failure to provide adequate control of pain amounts to substandard and unethical medical practice.”1

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