Pain: The person, the science, the clinical interface

Front Cover
Patricia J Armati , Roberta T Chow
IP Communications, Apr 8, 2015 - Health & Fitness - 420 pages

At some time, every person experiences pain; it is a signal that demands attention. Pain cannot be seen, heard, touched, or measured. Assessing, diagnosing, and treating each person’s pain is, thus, a very personal and individual experience. A person’s pain can lead to a tsunami of events at the personal and professional level, while a single painful event rarely affects only the person.

The person with pain is the centrepiece of this book. To emphasise the personal and individual nature of pain and its consequences at all levels – the person, families, friends, communities, and health budgets in all countries – the person with pain remains the focus and the recurrent theme.

Three sections - the person, the science, and the clinical interface – and eighteen chapters comprise the book. The theme of Australia’s (2010) National Pain Strategy provides a roadmap, but chapters present information in an international context. Individual chapters may be read or the book may be read cover-to-cover.

The great hope of the not-too-distant future is the possibility of personalised pain treatment. Personalised pain regimes would assess underlying pathophysiology, genetics, phenotypic variation, and probably factors as yet undefined. Ultimately, pain involves the nervous system and interpretation of the phenomenon of pain at the cortical level. As the functional complexity of the human nervous system is revealed, in concert with the BRAIN initiative of US President Obama, the person in pain of the future may look forward to improved treatment. The chapter in the book on fMRI provides a basis for this optimism.

Written by internationally-recognised experts in their fields, the book will provide a different focus, a focus on the person with pain, from most books on pain, and will prove invaluable to pain teams, medical specialists, psychologists, nurses, physiotherapists, and other health professionals, around the world.


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Book Review in: Anaesthetics and Intensive Care, Volume 43, Issue 5, 555-674 September 2015
Pain: the person, the science, the clinical interface. P. Armati, R. Chow (eds.). IP Communications, 2015
, 416 pages. ISBN 978-0-9872905-6-4 $85.00. ISBN 978-0-9925188-1-0 (ebook) $75.00.
S Gibson
Sydney, New South Wales
The 18 chapters of this book are each authored by the highest calibre of pain-specialising practitioners, predominantly from Australia and the USA. Some of these authors I am pleased to acknowledge I know personally (which I offer as my only conflict of interest statement in providing this book review), while all are recognised from their body of published works. It is therefore gratifying to see this diverse collection of experts being brought together to provide us with a very well-written summary of pain, its impact and its management.
Of the many pain resources available, they typically fit into a discrete category such as basic research, pain modelling, clinical pharmacology, physical therapy or cognitive therapy. This text is able to encompass this full gamut.
The book begins with pain as an epidemiological problem, progressing to its biological causes and then on to the theories and evidence for pain emerging as a disease in its own right. At each stage, evidence-based guidance to the management of pain is provided in a way that is clear and clinically relevant. The editors have thus applied the basic principles of the bio-psycho-social model of pain management into the very structure of the text.
The one minor downside to the editing is that, as one reads the book from cover to cover, there is some repetition encountered from each chapter to the next. The book will, however, no doubt be a useful reference for many, and each of the chapters stands alone as a scholarly article.
This text should form part of the required reading for a large audience amongst the medical, nursing, psychological, and physiotherapy professions.
From those at the beginning of their careers, to those preparing for most college fellowship–level examinations, this book will act as a valuable resource as we seek to reduce the suffering caused by pain. Within the anaesthetic community, the text would be a useful resource for those desiring to improve their perioperative pain management skills, and also covers much of the syllabus content for the ‘Introduction to Pain Management’ for those considering enrolling with the Faculty of Pain Management.


Section 1 The person
Section 2 The science
Section 3 The clinical interface

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About the author (2015)

Patricia J Armati (BSc MSc PhD) is Honorary Professor in Neuroscience in the Central Clinical School, The University of Sydney, and Mind and Brain Institute of The University of Sydney, with a long-standing interest in the relationship between neurons and neuroglia.

Roberta T Chow (MBBS (Hons) FRACGP PhD) is a general practitioner in private practice in Sydney, specialising in pain medicine at a primary-care level, and an Honorary Research Associate at the Brain and Mind Institute of The University of Sydney.

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