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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Christopher J Hughes, PT, PhD, OCS, CSCS (Slippery Rock University)
Description: The authors document the science and procedures underlying the use of modalities in physical therapy in this book. This is an update of the third edition which was published in 1996.
Purpose: The two primary editors have updated the fourth edition to not only significantly restructure the content, but also to provide a much more evidence-based approach to the information. Since the field of therapeutic modalities can change rapidly due to technological advances and research, the authors have set valid objectives and have succeeded in creating an excellent update.
Audience: Similar to most books on modalities, this one is written for the classroom. Entry-level physical therapy students are the target audience, but experienced clinicians can use the book as a review of key concepts and the physiological responses of the body to electrotherapeutic and mechanical modalities. The editors and accompanying chapter authors are all well qualified.
Features: The 14 chapters are divided into four major sections that cover the foundation for the use of modalities, technical aspects of therapeutic modalities, clinical applications of modalities for impairments and modality interventions, and medical conditions and emerging applications. The most unique aspect of the work results from the authors' abilities to integrate a blend of basic science with clinical application while covering each topic. Each author has made excellent use of figures, photos, and diagrams to create a visually pleasing work. The artwork and layout help organize the material. In addition, the authors have used highlight boxes to emphasize key points of the chapters and have ended each section with clinical controversy boxes that allow the reader to reflect on timely clinical topics. For such a broad range of topics, the book is brief, but this does not take away from the authors' message since the book is concisely written. However, some other books on modalities have accompanying lab manuals which help with adoption of the book for the classroom.
Assessment: This is a great resource for learning and understanding the role of modalities in patient care. Not only is the coverage of the basis of modalities appropriate, the authors effectively integrate clinical decision-making to make the information much more relevant to the scenarios of clinical practice. Despite the abundance of books on this topic, this one is unique and can serve as a single source or be used as a recommended reference to other texts.