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From The CriticsReviewer: Marquis D. Foreman, PhD, RN, FAAN (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing)
Description: This is the 5th edition of a gerontological nursing book that first appeared in 1979.
Purpose: The author hopes this edition will help to address the needs to "stay abreast of the ever-growing body of gerontological knowledge, refine practice, and to envision and test innovative practice models." (p. ix).
Audience: Both students and practitioners who provide competent, holistic care to older adults in a variety of service settings are identified as the target audience.
Features: This edition consists of 38 chapters organized into four units covering foundations of nursing an aging population, health and wellness, common geriatric conditions, and gerontological care issues. Each chapter includes chapter outlines, learning objectives, and critical thinking; key concepts underscoring critical information; nursing diagnosis highlights emphasizing practical caregiving goals and actions; points to ponder, a new feature that challenges readers to reflect on their own views, histories, and behaviors to gain insights into how these factors influence their caregiving attitudes and practices; complementary and alternative practices supplementing traditional practices; and resources helping readers obtain more information about a topic and locating sources of help for patients. The author states that core content has been updated, but more importantly, this edition emphasizes a holistic approach to nursing older adults.
Assessment: This is a very disappointing book. The content is presented in an overly simplistic manner that frequently distorts meaning. For example, "delirium alters the level of consciousness...," (p. 323). More accurately, delirium is characterized by an altered level of consciousness, it is not the cause of altered consciousness. Such distortions occur frequently. Guidelines for care are atheoretical. References are not always the best for a given topic, and critical thinking exercises do not challenge the reader. Given these flaws, this edition falls short of its hopes.