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From The CriticsReviewer: Barbara Jean Billek-Sawhney, PT, EdD, MS, GCS (Slippery Rock University)
Description: This third edition of a guide to proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) boasts 215 figures and 564 separate illustrations.
Purpose: The primary goal is to provide therapists with basic guidelines through advanced instruction on how to use PNF in the management of patients. This is a noteworthy objective considering the vast changes in the field of rehabilitation and the emphasis on motor learning. The preface notes that the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF), current aspects of motor learning and motor control, and activities of daily living (ADLs) are new to this edition.
Audience: The book appears most appropriate for entry-level physical and occupational therapy students. It also may be appropriate as an adjunct text for physical and occupational therapists looking to develop further skills in employing PNF in rehabilitation. All of the authors have many years of training and practice in PNF.
Features: The 14 chapters progress from a basic overview to in-depth, advanced techniques. The first five chapters provide the groundwork with an introduction, basic procedures, techniques, patient treatment, and patterns of facilitation. With chapter six, the authors address specific parts of the body, i.e., the scapula and pelvis, the upper extremity, the lower extremity, the neck, and the trunk. Mat activities, gait training, vital function, and activities of daily living are the focus of the final four chapters. There are numerous pictures throughout and there is a limited glossary at the end with 31 definitions. Unfortunately, many PNF techniques are not listed there, including contract relax, hold relax, rhythmic initiation, and others. Because the book lacks an index, readers are required to go back to the table of contents to find what they need. Despite the statements in the preface, there is very little in the book on ICF, ADLs, and motor learning. The ICF is presented in a box, but how PNF relates to it is not discussed.
Assessment: The book provides an overview of PNF for physical and occupational therapists as well as students. Compared to two older publications that I've used, Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation Patterns and Techniques, 3rd edition, Voss et al. (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 1985), and Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation: Patterns and Techniques, 2nd edition, Knott and Voss (Harper and Row, 1968), the descriptions and images in this book are more difficult to follow. Using arrows overlaying the images may have been helpful. With the current emphasis on evidence-based practice, it would have been beneficial if the book had incorporated current research on the use of PNF.