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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Louise Thibodaux, MA, OTR/L,FAOTA(University of Alabama)
Description: This book offers a comprehensive overview of the theoretical foundations of community health practice and explores nine model programs in community-based practice settings. Increasingly, therapists are challenged to provide population-based interventions in settings as diverse as work programs, independent living programs, adult day centers, and hospice. This is a welcome resource, bridging the gap between interventions centered on individuals and communities.
Purpose: The purpose is to facilitate a shift of paradigm from direct service provision to community consultation. The book summarizes trends that have led to this shift, applies theoretical models from public health and health education to evolving areas of occupational therapy practice, and provides a roadmap for creating opportunities to work with persons in communities. The topic and format is well suited to the author's primary objective of introducing new information to occupational therapy practitioners.
Audience: Although this book is designed for entry-level students, it will appeal to a much broader audience. Thought-provoking study questions accompany each chapter. The topical presentation makes it a useful resource to faculty. At the same time, its lifespan perspective allows it to be used across many specialty practice areas. Its organization and content arises from the editor's own professional discontent with the paucity of resources linking health education to occupational therapy.
Features: The book is divided into three sections. The first reviews basic principles that shape community practice. The inclusion of numerous figures in this section simplifies the presentation of theoretical material. The second, and longest, section applies these principles to diverse practice areas: work programs, adult day care, independent living, home health, hospice, early intervention, community mental health, and substance abuse. Exploration of each area includes the importance of thorough needs assessment and program planning. The final section draws implications for future practice, education, and research. The appendix lists assessment tools for early intervention, but not for other practice areas. This omission limits the book's appeal in some respects.
Assessment: The editor is to be commended for her careful insights into the changing markets for occupational therapy practice. It is easy to predict that this book will soon come to be regarded as a classic in the field.