Description: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the diagnosis du jour in the media. For patients who have suffered a brain injury that resulted in genuine cognitive deficits, this book provides strategies to compensate for acquired limitations in brain function.
Purpose: This book is intended to be a self-help guide for patients who have experienced a TBI.
Audience: The audience will include not only patients with TBI, but also their family members and caregivers who will be helping them in the rehabilitation process. The book purports to be unique in that the author is both a doctor and a survivor of TBI. While having experienced a TBI may endow the author with some personal insight, there is no indication she has any specific scholarly or clinical expertise in the area of brain injury working as a family practice physician.
Features: To begin, one must first put aside the tremendous amount of misinformation circulating in the media (and in doctors' offices, unfortunately) regarding traumatic brain injury. This book does nothing to clarify the science behind traumatic brain injury, nor is it really intended to. It begins by generally referring to "those of us with brain injuries," leaving it to the readers to decide if they belong to that club. From that point on, the table of contents relays all pertinent information. Each chapter is dedicated to providing tips on a particular topic, such as energy, organization, and memory. On the one hand, the tips are worthwhile suggestions for making any person's life a little easier, not just those with TBI. On the other hand, some suggestions are rather poor for those with TBI. For example, the author recommends that the reader find a primary care physician - good advice for anyone, but unhelpful for the TBI patient who needs a doctor specialized in the assessment and treatment of TBI. The final chapter is filled with TBI resources. Some of these are beneficial, while some are a bit duplicitous in that they present as informative sites for TBI, but are actually biased by plaintiff attorneys who are drumming up business or by advocacy groups with political agendas. It is noteworthy and ironic that many people with TBI complain of difficulty concentrating well enough to read a book, and the author shares the same sentiment, yet the self-help information is provided in the very modality that will be most problematic for TBI patients. A set of slides, audio accompaniment, DVD version, or computer software would have been better.
Assessment: If nothing more is expected than a self-help book with generic cognitive management strategies, then this book excels. Readers looking for cognitive rehabilitation strategies specific to TBI will find the book lacking, as will those seeking information about TBI rooted in the scientific literature.