UOC Neuroriabilitazione, Centro di Ricerca in Riabilitazione Neuromotoria e Cognitiva (CRRNC), Policlinico Borgo Roma, Piazzale L.A Scuro, 1, 37134 Verona, Italy. E-mail: email@example.com
Physical Management for Neurological Conditions, 4th edition, Shelia Lennon, Rita Ramdharry and Geert Verheyden, pp. 592, 2018. ISBN: 9780702071744. Elsevier, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
The 4th edition of this book focuses mainly on the practical side of the rehabilitation management of patients affected by neurological conditions. This new edition aspires to confirm itself as one of the most up-to-date evidence-based textbooks for undergraduate students in health professions and qualified therapists in this field.
The authors comprise an international team of experts (clinicians and researchers) in the field of neurorehabilitation. The book consists of 24 chapters divided into 3 main sections. The first section deals with background knowledge about principles in neurological rehabilitation, common impairments and their impact on activity, observation and analysis of movement, measurement tools, goal-setting in rehabilitation and respiratory management. The second section addresses the management of specific conditions, including stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, inherited neurological conditions (Huntington’s disease, hereditary ataxias and hereditary spastic paraparesis), motor neurone disease, polyneuropathies (Guillain-Barré syndrome, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy, diabetic neuropathy and Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease), muscle disorders and functional motor disorders. The third section is about specific aspects of rehabilitation management, including self-management, virtual reality and inter-active gaming technology, falls, physical activity and exercise, vestibular rehabilitation, pain management, clinical neuropsychology and complex cases.
Although there are a range of different authors, it is appreciated that this book is a choral work with a logical line connecting its main sections and their parts. Every chapter is exhaustive and well-structured, including an introduction (with a useful outline categorizing the main topics) followed by dissertations on the main topics and conclusions. In addition, there are useful keynotes (highlighted by a box), and self-assessment questions at the end of each chapter. Charts provide clarity to the topics discussed. The references range over a long timeline, extending to the date of publication, and appear to be fully up-to-date. They are clearly and correctly explained by the authors, who often provide useful comparisons among the current evidence in the literature. At the end of the book, the “answer to the self-assessment question” section is an interesting editorial choice, which will be useful, in particular, for students (according to the purpose of this book).
A suggestion for future editions would be to consider the differentiation of levels of information, including further details separately from the base knowledge. This would be more in line with the different target populations of this book (i.e. undergraduate students in health professions and qualified therapists). Furthermore, I suggest making greater use of figures/photographs in order to enable easier comprehension of some tools (in particular by students).
Looking in more detail at Section 1 (Background knowledge), the inclusion of more in-depth reporting of the interpretation of the clinical results of different rehabilitation approaches would be of value. Moreover, the provision of further information about neuroanatomy would make the comprehension of some paragraphs and concepts easier.
Regarding Section 2, I suggest further stressing the importance of a multidisciplinary team for the physical management of the several neurological conditions reported here. In this respect, considering that this is an “international” book and that the responsibilities/roles of team components may vary across countries according to their regulatory backgrounds, the -authors should focus mainly on the general principles of the multidisciplinary management of neurological conditions.
For Section 3, the importance of dedicating a specific chapter to neuropsychological rehabilitation is understood. However, it would be useful if further information was also given about this tool in some of the chapters about complex neurological conditions, such as stroke, which involve not only motor function disabilities but also cognitive ones.
As a whole, this is a handy book, which sets out the information with a high degree of accuracy. In my view, the entire multidisciplinary team would benefit from reading it.