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D Fevre. (Pp 280; £25.00.) Butterworth Heinemann, 1998. ISBN 0-7506-3142-2. Copies can be ordered from Heinemann Customer Services, Direct Mail Department, PO Box 840, Oxford OX2 8YW. Tel: 01865 314627; Fax: 01865 314091.
This book has some useful guidelines for any physiotherapist contemplating a switch from hospital employment to being a full time physiotherapist with a sports team. The author is realistic about the commitment required and weighs up the benefits and disadvantages of such a move. The dynamics of a team approach to providing medical/physiotherapy support and the need for excellent communication between members of the team and other coaching and managerial staff at a club are covered very well. His expectation of what a team doctor with a qualification in sport and exercise medicine might be able to deal with before making a secondary referral is somewhat limited.
Overall the book lacks structure. There is no systematic approach to chapter headings, or the layout within the chapters, which makes it difficult to follow. It falls between being a conventional textbook and a practical handbook. The book is littered with case studies intended to illustrate points. I felt these were a distraction; many were anecdotal and served little purpose. The mixture of sport specific areas and general topics means that there is repetition. There is also considerable variation in the detail between topics; some issues such as isokinetic testing and some areas of rehabilitation are covered in depth whereas other areas are superficial and incomplete. The section on concussion is particularly poor. The suggested grading scale for concussion uses only the duration of loss of consciousness with no regard to post-traumatic amnesia or post-concussion syndrome. This is very out of date and not what one would expect in a book specifically dealing with collision sports.
Each chapter is well referenced and, where appropriate, the limitations of the research discussed, and the difficulties in comparing injury rates when the definition of the severity of injury differs in each study are acknowledged. The tables illustrating the rehabilitation programmes used by the author following various injuries and operative procedures provide useful practical guidelines.
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