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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: David O. Staats, MD (University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center)
Description: This multiauthored book on the provision of medical care in long-term care facilities is part of the Current Clinical Practice series.
Purpose: Its purpose it to provide a compact, thorough guide to medical care in a variety of long-term care settings. These are indeed worthy objectives and the authors succeed handsomely in all regards.
Audience: The audience is practitioners and trainees of long-term care medicine. The authors are all experts in the field.
Features: The book is divided into 16 chapters that fall into four sections. The first section describes the different long-term care facilities — home care, assisted living, and nursing homes. It concludes with discussions of the roles of the attending physicians and medical directors at these facilities. The second section discusses common medical conditions of long-term care: chronic illnesses, acute change in conditions, preventive medicine, palliative care, wound care, and nutrition. The third part discusses psychosocial aspects of long-term care and includes chapters on dementia/delirium/depression, ethical and legal issues, an especially good chapter on caring for families. The fourth and final part discusses coding, medication management, and rehabilitation. Each chapter has a concluding section of clinical pearls followed by references.
Assessment: This is an excellent and very well-edited book. In the introduction the editors correctly state that long-term care medicine is challenging for even the most experienced clinicians and that the topics of long-term care medicine are seldom discussed. In this book, they are all brought to the light of day and given thorough and clear discussions. The transition between institutions, a growing area of interest, is well discussed. The approach to caring for the families of long-term care patients is particularly strong and filled with useful advice. The dedication to Lorraine Tarnove, executive director of the American Medical Directors Association, is well deserved. AMDA has transformed long-term care from being a backwater of medicine to a magnificent edifice on the hill. This book is the front porch light of that house.