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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Christopher J Hughes, PT, PhD, OCS, CSCS (Slippery Rock University)
Description: The majority of the content in this book is a summary of papers presented as part of a conference held in Australia in 1999. The topics addressed primarily include injury prevention, functional assessment, and occupational rehabilitation. Introductory sections include discussions of epidemiological and administration issues in occupational injury.
Purpose: The main purpose is to provide the reader with a compilation of literature from various areas of occupational medicine with particular emphasis on the cost effectiveness of injury prevention. The editor's intent seems to be well served although some sections are only briefly covered (e.g., job analysis, chronic pain).
Audience: The material seems to be best suited for occupational and physical therapists. Many of the chapters are focused on issues that are within the scope of practice of these two professions. However, case managers and safety personnel will find the information useful. All of the contributors and the editor have affiliations with institutions specializing in occupational health, physical rehabilitation, and worker safety.
Features: Epidemiology, ergonomics, functional capacity assessment, and injury management are included in the sixteen major chapter divisions. Usually three summary papers appear under each chapter heading. Most are briefly written and consist of annotated material. At times various sections appear to be too brief to be comprehensive. Overall, the book is organized, easy to read, and well illustrated. The chapter on preventing work-related back pain is unique. The editor presents a literature review of key papers and provides critical commentary on each article cited. The section on functional capacity assessment is also informative and seems the most comprehensive. A review of the reliability and validity of popular commercially available work-related assessments is very enlightening.
Assessment: This text has a place in the personal library of healthcare professionals involved in occupational health. The brevity of information seems to be a strength and weakness of the book. The wide variety of backgrounds among contributors gives the reader an appreciation for various points of view in industrial medicine and assists in integration of the material.