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From The CriticsReviewer: Sylvia Ann Mehl, BS, MS (University of Southern California)
Description: This comprehensive book is designed to assist clinicians with prescribing exercises to achieve the best outcomes and to foster effective clinical decision-making.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide an outline or framework for learning how to make clinical decisions when selecting therapeutic exercises for a variety of diagnoses and impairments. Physical therapists and other clinicians must provide efficient and effective treatment plans to meet the functional goals expected by clients, the third party payors, and referring physicians. This book meets these objectives, providing a thorough outline to review and assist clinicians with decisions if they are unfamiliar with clinical patterns and outcomes.
Audience: Although written for all professionals, the book is geared primarily towards students. It provides the background needed to assist with clinical decisions, but is not a manual of therapeutic techniques and activities. The basic intent of the book is to prescribe therapeutic exercises for clients with musculoskeletal dysfunctions and restore the maximal functional outcome possible. The authors are respected educators and they have recruited an extensive group of professionals to assist them with covering topics and providing critical reviews.
Features: The book is divided into seven units that cover a foundation of therapeutic exercise, exercise for impairments of body functions, special physiologic considerations, specialties of exercise intervention, a functional approach to the lower and upper extremities, and case studies. Among the educational features in each chapter are illustrations and photographs of exercises, selected interventions written to develop exercise prescriptions, self-management tools, patient-related instructional information, key points, critical-thinking questions, and lab activities for the classroom. Several case studies help students develop the process of clinical decision making. Lastly, there is a "red flag" reference guide for identifying serious signs and symptoms that require urgent action. The book covers a great deal of information, which could make it appear not particularly user-friendly at first glance. However, the content is well organized and the book is a very thorough collection of information, with a helpful index.
Assessment: This is an excellent reference on therapeutic exercise for students in training as well as experienced clinicians. The diagrams, photographs, and outlines of proposed protocols and techniques of treatment are very well done. Although it is difficult to learn manual techniques from a book, the presentation of material allows clinicians to improve their treatment plans with a variety of options to ensure good outcomes. Exposure to different treatment ideas will encourage continuing education to acquire the necessary skills. This book will be very useful for reviewing the anatomy, evaluation, and examination and development of treatment plans. I would recommend it as a reference for all clinicians.