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Edited by S Bull. John Wiley and Sons, 2001, £42.50, pp 305. ISBN 0471988480
The contents of this softback edition of a book first published in 1999 remain pertinent, as there is a continued focus on improving and maintaining health by lifestyle, rather than medical, interventions. Four key factors, which impact on adherence to physical activity, are identified early in the book—the client, the setting, the practitioner, and the practitioner/client relation—and these are explored further. It is all too easy to isolate the individual from the realities of their social world, and so the first chapter really puts this into perspective and is complemented in later chapters on environmental influences and client/practitioner interaction. It was interesting to see the much trumpeted model of behaviour change examined and critiqued. Areas that could have been discussed more were those of adherence and physical activity in elderly and in disabled populations. The last two chapters on methodological issues, while interesting, raise some complex ideas, which perhaps would be more accessible to researchers than practitioners.
Rod Dishman's foreword suggests that a good book raises as many questions as it answers; here these include exploring and measuring adherence (and its often used synonyms such as compliance) and the interchangeable use of the terms physical activity, exercise, and sport. Also collaboration with, and understanding of, other professions and breaking down the barriers between “institutional health”—for example, general practice—and lifestyle are needed if adherence is to be understood more fully.
Each chapter is well presented, referenced, and written by experts in the field, and as such the book contains information on adherence issues in exercise and sport relevant to both clinical and non-clinical populations.
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