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From The CriticsReviewer: Josie Martin Bowman, RN, MSN, DSN (East Carolina University )
Description: This sixth edition of a book on chronic illness is presented in four sections, covering the impact of the disease, the impact on the client and family, the impact on health professionals, and the impact of the system.
Purpose: The purpose is stated in the Memoriam that Ilene Lubkin's son wrote. (Ms. Lubkin died in April 2005.) The book is described as a "synthesis of over 5 decades of clinical and academic experiences to better understand the dynamics of chronic illness and how it impacts every facet of a patient's life." This is a worthy objective since the number of individuals with chronic illness is rapidly growing.
Audience: This book is written for anyone caring for individuals with chronic illness — students in undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral programs. It can be for other health professionals to gain information to better care for and treat clients with chronic disorders. The authors are credible authorities in the subject area. Ilene Lubkin has been involved in all six editions and Dr. Larsen in the past three editions. Numerous contributors from various programs in the country with varying expertise also add chapters.
Features: The authors use select concepts to focus on the individual, including chronicity, illness behavior, stigma, chronic pain, self-efficacy, etc. The impact on the family includes a focus on quality of life, compliance and powerlessness, to name a few. Section 3 investigates the role of the healthcare professional. This section is extremely useful for nurses who care for these clients. Different roles are discussed and selected interventions are presented. The care of individuals with chronic illnesses has created a need for a system change with the increase in home healthcare, palliative care, long-term care and rehabilitation. The authors include two chapters on policy and financial impact. This is a well written book with minimal black-and-white illustrations. Material that needs to be highlighted is presented in table format.
Assessment: This high quality book is really the standard for any other book about chronic illness. I highly recommend it for all healthcare providers, especially nurses.