Description: All chapters in this new edition of a book on the role of physical therapists in primary care have been updated or expanded, and several new chapters have been added, to meet the needs in the field prompted by the expansion of direct access in physical therapy. This edition has several returning contributing authors along with many new ones, to provide the most up-to-date information there is in the area of primary care physical therapy. The original book was published in 2005.
Purpose: Because direct access in physical therapy has expanded over the past several years and continues to advance, the purpose of this book has changed since its first edition. Initially, the book was intended to "provide information designed to help prepare physical therapists to assume a significant role in the primary care delivery model" with a major emphasis on examination and triage related to the physical therapist's potential role. This new edition is intended to "promote a significant role in the primary care practice model for physical therapists, with major emphasis on the examination, triage, and interdisciplinary health care components related to the physical therapist's potential role." With the increasing growth of primary care and direct access in physical therapy, this edition also has a key focus on recognizing red flags early on in order to facilitate consultation with the appropriate healthcare practitioner. As more therapists become patients' initial contacts for their musculoskeletal conditions, there is a growing need for practitioners to become efficient at differentiating symptoms that have a musculoskeletal cause from those that present as a musculoskeletal issue, but have another origin.
Audience: The book is designed for students, residents, fellows, and experienced clinicians. It is well organized and written, making it easy for readers at any level of experience to read and understand. The editor is a leading authority in this area, and has written several books and taught numerous seminars on medical screening and differential diagnosis.
Features: The first of the book's three sections provides a foundation, explaining the various models of primary care physical therapy currently in place, diagnostic information including reliability, validity, and likelihood ratios, cultural competence, pharmacology considerations, and how to be effective during a patient interview. The second section, on examination/evaluation, has 10 chapters organized in the way that clinicians would typically gather information. The first two chapters describe symptom investigation, first by body region and then by symptom, helping readers in evaluating a given area as thoroughly as possible. The third section is dedicated to topics in special populations such as pediatric/adolescent, obstetric, and geriatric, and includes new chapters on health and wellness and the nine conditions physical therapists do not want to miss. Both are great additions as the field continues to move into the direct access model, where prevention and life-long health and well-being are important facets of care. All chapters are well referenced with the most up-to-date-research. Throughout the book, tables, graphs, and pictures help illustrate the material. Other helpful features include appendixes after several chapters with forms for clinicians to use and/or adapt for medical screening, surveys and testing materials on specific topics, case scenarios, and glossaries of terms. The only minor shortcoming is that all of the illustrations are black and white. Color illustrations would highlight key areas better and improve readability. However, the lack of color does not detract from the wealth of knowledge in this book.
Assessment: This is an important update and a valuable addition to the field. Written by experts, it offers the best and most comprehensive information available on primary care for physical therapists and complements other books in this area. Because of how well organized and written it is, this book would be an essential addition to the personal libraries of clinicians at any level, as well as a popular required text in physical therapy programs.