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From The CriticsReviewer: Joan M Bradley, BSN, MSN (University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center)
Description: This is a comprehensive handbook for pediatric nurses, case managers and life care planners. The first half of the book discusses the roles of all pertinent care providers. The second half of the book focuses on plans for assisting children with the types of disabilities and chronic illnesses most often encountered with pediatric populations.
Purpose: The purpose of this book is to present a comprehensive overview of the essential issues in care coordination and case management for children with disabilities. This book was written to provide pediatric health and social service professionals with a easy and usable guide to help them provide the best care and highest quality of life for each individual child. These are worthy objectives and the author's objectives are met in the book.
Audience: The book is written for physicians, nurses, allied health personnel, attorneys, insurance decision makers and special education advocates. I think that the books seems to be aimed more at nurses than at the other types of professionals. I think it is more pertinent to case managers and life care planners from either the discipline of nursing or social work. It seems less appropriate for lawyers or insurance representatives. These last two groups might use it as an occasional reference but would not use much of the content in daily practice.
Features: The book begins with an very brief overview of normal growth and development. The next chapters detail the roles of various health professionals involved in the care of children with chronic illnesses or disabilities. This provides a very valuable insight into the major assessment tools used by each professional discipline, as well as the scope of the practice and common treatment modalities utilized by each. The next group of chapters discusses various chronic illnesses or conditions seen in pediatric populations. Each chapter includes an overview of the pathophysiology, treatment, complications and life planning implications for that disorder or disease. Following this section of the book are chapters devoted to special topics of relevance to most or all pediatric cases. These include ethical dilemmas, legal issues, financial issues and payment systems plus a case study written to illustrate the family's perspective. I loved the family story in Chapter 45, but I think that the family perspective is somewhat shortchanged in this book. I would suggest more frequent inclusion of family stories throughout the book. I think that there is no place for a reference to "parenting skills deficits" as it appears on pg. 109 in a book that has a family-centered perspective. More pictures and/or illustrations would also be helpful.
Assessment: I would recommend this book to professionals who work as case managers or in home care with pediatric clients. It is comprehensive and easy to use as a reference. The term and role of pediatric life planner is not one that is familiar to health care professionals in the southwestern United States. I had to look past the book title to realize that the book had much to offer. I could see using this book n an interdisciplinary seminar or class on children with chronic illnesses.