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From The CriticsReviewer: Cynthia Potter, PT, DPT, PCS (Healthquest Community Service)
Description: This book presents an algorithm for decision making based on a conceptual framework with the ultimate goal of improving therapeutic outcomes for children who receive pediatric physical therapy. Following the introduction in the first chapter, application of this decision making model for specific neurological problems addressed by pediatric physical therapists is presented in the subsequent six chapters.
Purpose: The purpose is to describe the decision making process used by experienced clinicians for children with various neurological disorders. Demonstrating the use of current theory and scientific evidence as a basis, each of the contributors presents his or her decision making process in setting goals, selecting tools for identifying problems and measuring progress, and providing intervention. The book is particularly relevant for the current demands of the healthcare environment for evidence-based practice. The author succeeds in her purpose and encourages the reader to appreciate the differences used by experienced clinicians in developing goals and approaches and in modifying those approaches based on family and child goals.
Audience: The author indicates that this book is intended for novice and experienced physical therapists to reflect on how to improve their practice and to consider new approaches to best achieve meaningful outcomes for children and families. Because she assumes some knowledge of the characteristics of various practice setting, this book would be most beneficial for experienced physical therapists or those novices with some clinical experience who are acquainted with similarities and differences of various settings and service delivery models.
Features: In the introductory chapter the focus is on conceptual models for decision-making that the author feels are the basis for improving patient outcomes. Each of the topic areas is thoroughly covered, including a literature review, presentation of theoretical assumptions, description of goal-setting, selection of measurement tools, and selection of intervention techniques. A representative case study is included in each chapter and is accompanied by excellent illustrations and descriptions of the purposes of the techniques pictured. A reflective summary of the case assists the reader in critical evaluation of the decision-making process and revisions of treatment plans. Extensive current references accompany each chapter. The focus of the book is neurological disorders and the author is careful to illustrate the complexities and variability of multiple systems which must be considered in treatment of children with these disorders. The analysis that accompanies the cases used in the text provides valuable insight into the rationale and considerations involved in developing effective treatment programs.
Assessment: Because of the focus on pediatric neurological disorders, this book does not fill the need of those desiring a comprehensive reference on pediatric physical therapy. However, the author accomplishes her goal of presenting and demonstrating the usefulness of a decision making algorithm for those interested in best pediatric physical therapy practice.