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Edited by Richard J Greenwood, Michael P Barnes, Thomas M McMillan, and Christopher D Ward. Published by Taylor & Francis Books Ltd, Hove, 2003, pp 725, £120.00 (hardback). ISBN 0-86377-757-0
This is the second edition of the book that many UK rehabilitation physicians have come to regard as the bible of neurological rehabilitation. The book is primarily targeted towards neurologists, but has a much wider readership in multiprofessional rehabilitation teams. In addition to the four editors, there are some 93 contributors from a range of different professional backgrounds. Among them are many of the most respected authors in the field of rehabilitation and neurology.
As in the previous edition, the book is laid out in three main sections: principles of practice, exploring the epidemiological, social, and political principles of practice in rehabilitation as well as mechanisms of neurological recovery; assessment and treatment of functional deficits, covering the characteristics and remediation of physical, cognitive, affective, and behavioural disorders; and specific disorders, highlighting the use of rehabilitation techniques in the context of specific disease including head injury, stroke, spinal injury, progressive neurological disorders, and disorders of muscle and the peripheral nervous system.
For those familiar with the first edition (published in 1992), it has to be said that some chapters could have benefited from a slightly more radical face lift. In the section on environmental control systems, for example, the use of illustrations (unchanged from the previous edition) showing equipment now obsolete for some years belies some of the exciting developments in the field of computers and assistive technology that have occurred during the past decade. On the other hand, Derick Wade’s completely revised chapter on stroke now provides a masterly summary of the evidence for effective management, assembled into clear evidence tables, for those readers who wish to explore the background literature.
In a world where we increasingly turn to the internet for reference and education, it is easy to overlook the advantage of far more instantaneous access to information afforded by a well written textbook. This book constitutes an excellent source reference, which no one with a serious interest in rehabilitation should be without.
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