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Springhouse Corporation Staff. (Pp 470; £24.99.) Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2001. ISBN 1582550042.
This clinical companion is a reference text for physiotherapists, which attempts to cover all aspects of clinical care as encountered by this clinical group. It has a strong American bias and aims, using a broad based clinical approach, to provide physical therapists with relevant information so that they have a thorough understanding of patients' conditions.
My first impression of this book is that it is compact and well structured with an interesting and diverse contents list. Information is easily accessed from its 15 chapters, which focus mainly on assessment, measurement, and rehabilitation, with a clear description of the contents of each section.
The format is logical and easy to read with an abundance of diagrams and illustrations. However, at some points in the book, the charts appear infinite and interrupt the text for longer than my concentration would allow. The book stimulates the reader to browse through the pages for light reading, but, although the extensive topic content is impressive, the detail is disappointing.
My interest in the book was in the musculoskeletal content which proved lacking. Common disorders encountered in an outpatient setting accounted for one third of one chapter, and the treatment it recommends for low back pain and manual handling manoeuvres would not be in keeping with current clinical effectiveness guidelines in the United Kingdom.
Other areas covering diagnostic tests, signs and symptoms, and outcome measures are covered succinctly for physiotherapists.
The text fulfils its role as a quick reference guide for junior staff or students; however, it is a little overambitious in its diversity and is non-specific in relation to relevant physiotherapy practice.
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