edited by Peter S. Houts, 261 pp, paper $23, ISBN 0-943126-30-4, Philadelphia, Pa, American College of Physicians, 1994.
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Hospital length of stay was in decline even before the current managed care impact. Physicians feel burdened and caught in the middle as patients go home earlier, and sicker, than ever before. For the cancer patient, improved outcomes result from therapies of increasing complexity. Caregivers at home face greater demands.
This is a workbook, not a textbook, for home caregivers. Stepwise problem solving, not general information, is the goal, and specific home care plans are presented. It should be a valuable resource for any cancer caregiver involved with home care.
The mundane (fatigue, constipation), the scary (fever, sexual problems, bleeding), and the technical (vein and mouth problems) are covered with practicality and aplomb. All chapters direct the acquisition of skills that lead to successful coping. The "obstacles section" of each chapter sounds a litany familiar to any cancer clinician and provides immediate reassurance to the home caregiver.
The in-depth index
Merrill JM. American College of Physicians Home Care Guide for Cancer: How to Care for Family and Friends at Home. JAMA. 1995;273(7):597-598. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520310097041