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From The CriticsReviewer: Jean A Krampe, MSN, RN (Alexian Brothers Community Services-PACE)
Description: This is a comprehensive discussion of published articles on the emerging problem of older persons falling. Building on the first edition published in 2001, the second edition uses an analytical approach, systematically addressing the multifactorial issues associated with falls in multiple settings.
Purpose: The authors' purpose is to provide healthcare workers a resource with evidence-based research depicting the risk factors and strategies for prevention of falls. They aim to evaluate the evidence for each factor implicated with falls and they use an analytical approach to challenge traditional fall reduction programs and complete their mission by suggesting future areas for research. This unique approach is both effective and valuable for anyone addressing falls in older persons. Reviewing the prolific body of literature striving to address the problem of falls is a daunting task. The book assists readers in identifying the best approaches to consider in addressing this complex problem.
Audience: The authors intend their book as a resource for healthcare workers to gain access to current thinking and best clinical practices in fall risk factors and prevention. The complete interdisciplinary team of healthcare workers is targeted, from nurses to physical therapists, occupational therapists, social workers and physicians. I see the scope of this book also appealing to educators, students, researchers, and anyone interested in gerontology.
Features: The analytical approach challenging traditional fall prevention programs is particularly beneficial to practitioners, educators, and researchers. The section addressing exercise that categorizes the interventions into community dwellers versus traditional is helpful. I would like to see this approach used more in the next edition. The critical epidemiological section includes key information. The sections on balance and gait provide a valuable primer for practitioners outside of physical therapy along with researchers interested in this topic. Overall, the book flows well with good graphs and visuals. The tables of research showing approaches that are effective versus that are not effective are comprehensive and valuable. Figure 3.1 depicting changes in gait patterns associated with falls is helpful in seeing the multiple risk factors related to walking. This diagram is written for the healthcare worker with basic anatomy knowledge, thus useful for many levels and multidisciplinary. Figure 13.2 highlighting the dynamic coefficient of friction provides a valuable resource that could be modified for patient education about fall risk and shoes. However, figure 12.3 uses an unconventional method of reporting data on exercise interventions that is difficult to interpret.
Assessment: This book fills a gap by providing a valuable evidence-based comprehensive resource specifically focused on falls. I am familiar with the literature in this area and found this book to be comprehensive, while at the same time user friendly. This is a valuable addition to the body literature on falls in older persons.