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Depression and Pain

Depression and Pain

Alexandre Annes Henriques

When considering psychopathology related to chronic pain, the topic of depression likely has motivated most studies and research. All health professionals who help individuals suffering from chronic pain will inevitably face this comorbidity. Not by chance, the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) recommends that patients experiencing chronic pain should be treated treated by a team of at least three professionals, one of whom must be a psychiatrist or a psychologist.

In this context, the book Depressao e Dor ("Depression and Pain") succeeds in addressing the topic.

The text of the book uses accessible and easy-to-read language. The book is mainly aimed at physicians, as it emphasizes practical aspects of evaluation, diagnosis and treatment when patients are depressed and with pain. In some chapters, there are sections specifically aimed at practical applications, such as "Barreiras para o reconhecimento da Depressao em Pacientes com..." ("Barriers for the Identification of Depression in Patients with..."), "Quando encaminhar para a Avaliaçao do Psiquiatra?" ("When to refer for psychiatric evaluation?") and "Experiência Prática" ("Practical Experience"), as well as the excellent section entitled, "Experiência dos Autores" ("The Authors' Experience"). Some editorial aspects are evident in different chapters throughout the book. It is also worth mentioning the impact of this comorbidity on several aspects of the patient's physical and emotional health, social life, and occupational experience, as well as depression's impact on relatives, healthcare professionals and the healthcare system.

The book has 15 chapters, which can be organized in three groups: "Introduçao" ("Introduction") (Chapter 1), "Principais Síndromes Dolorosas" ("Painful Syndromes") (Chapters 2-11) and Tópicos Específicos ("Specific Topics") (Chapters 12-15). The main structure of the book consists of more specific chapters, entitled "Depressao e..." ("Depression and."), which examine the most prevalent and challenging clinical situations concerning chronic pain, such as back pain, fibromyalgia, facial pain, migraine, spinal cord pain, non-cardiac chest pain, abdominal pain, chronic pelvic pain, hematologic pain and oncologic pain. Acute pain is rarely a focus. In addition, there are chapters about "Depressao e Dor no Idoso" ("Depression and Pain in the Elderly"), "Comportamento Suicida no Paciente com Dor" ("Suicidal Behavior in Pain Patients"), "Depressao Secundária ao Uso de Medicamentos Utilizados em Pacientes com Dor" ("Depression Secondary to the Use of Medication in Pain Patients") and "Psicofármacos no Tratamento da Dor e da Depressao em Pacientes com Dor Crônica" ("Psychopharmacological agents in Pain Treatment and Depression Treatment in Chronic Pain Patients.").

The last of these chapters was an efficient addition included by the editors to ensure that psychopharmacotherapy specific to this comorbidity would be sufficiently presented to the reader. In contrast, with regard to a condition that requires multidisciplinary, multidimensional and multimodal therapy, one's attention is called to the absence of a chapter exclusively dedicated to psychotherapies specific to this comorbidity. Nevertheless, this aspect can be addressed in future editions.

In addition to the three editors/organizers of this book, there are more than 33 collaborators, including psychiatrists, neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuropediatricians, cardiologists, physiatrists, occupational health doctors, oncologists, gynecologists, geriatricians, dentists and psychologists. This multidisciplinary group of authors will guarantee that this book is useful to experienced as well as young professionals in the healthcare field.

Now, this one volume edition provides a new tool to help in understanding and managing the main interrelationships of this synergistic comorbidity: depression and pain.

Alexandre Annes Henriques
Pain and Palliative Medicine Service, Coordinator of the Psychiatry and Pain Program,
Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, Brazil.

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