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From The CriticsReviewer: Patricia Blagman, EdD, RN (Pace University)
Description: This book describes a variety of alternative/complementary therapies for a variety of chronic conditions, and suggests conventional and complementary interventions. Each chapter (organized by health pattern disturbances) contains key information (basic nutrients, sleep cycles, disease symptoms, etc.) in easy to read boxes.
Purpose: The author wishes to supplement clinicians' existing knowledge of treatment of chronic conditions by integrating conventional with complementary therapies to enhance holistic practice. The objective is to enable clinicians to commit to holistic care — a noble objective. The book contains a wealth of information. Whether practitioners will use it is another story.
Audience: The author addresses "clinicians" but does not clarify further. It is written from a nursing framework, describes nursing theories which underpin holistic chronic care, and includes the American Holistic Nurses Association Standards of Practice Core Values. I think it will be useful for nursing students as well as those in practice who work with the chronically ill. The author, a nurse with a Ph.D. and ND, has published previously.
Features: An early chapter is devoted to an overview of the major complementary therapies. Each chapter that includes a discussion of a health pattern disturbance begins with an overall assessment of the pattern. This is followed by a description of diseases within that pattern with goals and a list of interventions, conventional and complementary. A listing of national resource centers with each condition is very helpful. Many of the complementary suggestions are referenced. Specific nutritional and herbal supplements are suggested. What is most innovative is the integration of suggested conventional and complementary therapies.
Assessment: This book is chock full of useful information for nurses and students as well as others who care for the chronically ill. A recent work by the Aspen Reference Group, Holistic Health Promotion and Complementary Therapies: A Resource for Integrated Practice (Aspen, 1998), contains more in-depth information on specific complementary practices, but less application for specific clients. Particularly helpful are the easy to read boxes full of pertinet information.