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Pain. A political History

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Title: Pain A political History

Author: Keith Wailoo

Publisher: John Hopkins University Press

Reviewer: Anne Duell, registered general nurse, Birmingham Community NHS Trust

What was it like?

This hard back book provides the readers with an interesting insight into the debate surrounding pain from both a liberal and conservative perspective. The book focuses on the period of time post World Ward II. Wailoo presents us with pain from a governmental perspective in conjunction with insight into how pain interjects into the physiologial and cultural elements in life and society. It raises insights into the ethics relating to moral, societal and political perspectives. While the perspective focuses on the American congress and welfare systems, this book is a compelling read and an insightful read. 

What were the highlights? 

The highlight of this book comes in how the author constructs the material presented into an interesting and engaging read. At the same time it is refreshing to read about the need to find a middle ground when discussing pain in relation to the political forum.

Strengths & weaknesses:

The strength of this book is its relevance to the US welfare and political reforms. At the sane time this is its weakness in relation to the wider readership.  However it could raise interesting discussion points when considering how different countries political and health reformers consider and debate the issues surrounding pain assessment and management.

Who should read it?

This book would be of insight to anyone with an interest in the historical management of pain. Others who may be studying pain management could find this an interesting read also. Pharmacologists and prescribers may also enjoy this book especially when considering the sections discussing the drug Oxycontin and the drug industry.

Pain. A political History

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