March 6, 1991

The Management of Pain

Author Affiliations

The Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh (Pa)

The Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh (Pa)


vols 1 and 2, by John J. Bonica, 2nd ed, 2120 pp, with illus, $225, ISBN 0-8121-1122-2, Philadelphia, Pa, Lea & Febiger, 1990.

JAMA. 1991;265(9):1183. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03460090133047

This immense two-volume textbook is the work of 100 contributors and three collaborators. The editor, Dr Bonica, has "recognized that multiauthored books are often uneven in format and quality and frequently contain conflicting and contradictory information." We agree that recent advances in both basic concepts and clinical aspects of pain have advanced beyond what any single author can contribute. Additionally, the expansion of therapeutic modalities and the almost exponential growth in interest in pain have demanded the multidisciplinary contributions that constitute this text.

The length, comprehensiveness, and multidisciplinary nature of the work suggested that review would require more than a generalist in anesthesiology, hence collaboration with a specialist in pain management.

The work has five parts. The first deals with basic considerations underlying a comprehensive treatment of pain, including the history of theories of pain mechanisms and treatment. A valuable addition is the inclusion of the International Association for the