Description: This guide for individuals with new spinal cord injuries covers aspects of how to manage bodily functions, sexuality, and fertility, and provides advice on how to establish a healthy lifestyle and maximize independence.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a written source of education to patients and their families to augment what they are taught in the inpatient setting. This is a worthy objective, especially since inpatient stays are getting shorter and there may not be as much time to learn care while an inpatient. This is a thorough and comprehensive reference.
Audience: The book is written for patients and their families. It is written appropriately for the intended audience. The book is a collection of information across disciplines and through time from the Mayo Clinic; the source is credible.
Features: This book does a great job of explaining the mechanisms behind what is happening in various organ systems and how interventions are practically carried out. For instance, there is specific information about how to do a bowel program and charts that help patients manage fluid intake and output when establishing an intermittent catheterization program. The book includes information about coping mechanisms and how to manage and direct care given by others. It covers the basics from early on (e.g., who is on the inpatient rehabilitation team) to the later stages (e.g., what vocational resources are available).
Assessment: This is a great guide for patients who want to understand the particulars of living with spinal cord injury and how to maximize their independence. It seems to be a valuable and comprehensive resource that would be especially pertinent for individuals with spinal cord injury to have soon after their injury.