Book review: Social work in end-of-life and palliative care

Social Work in end-of-life and palliative care

Malcolm Payne and Margaret Reith

Policy Press

ISBN 9781847424143

This book has a refreshing view of end-of-life, palliative care and aftercare. Both writers are experienced practitioners and academics with an open mind – particularly for creativity – that helps ensure that the concepts covered are chronological, accessible and applicable for all who can relate to this subject.

This book is targeted at social workers and other professionals aiming to add to their knowledge and skills base. Transition from one theme to another is aided by the “pause and reflect” sections and assist the reader to reflect on their own impressions, opinions and ideas. These also help identify areas in both the personal and professional domains that can be developed by the reader.

A vast array of sources were consulted which adds to the validity and scientific orientation of this field. The provision of abundant case examples demonstrates the applicability in real life and real death practice.

Finally, this book does not focus just on the end phase of life but rather looks at how it is integrated into the preceding stages, and suggests that the quality of death should be just as valid as quality of life.

Karen Moorhouse is a hospital social worker

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