Management of Spinal Cord Injuries--A Guide for Physiotherapists.
Article Type: Book review
Subject: Books (Book reviews)
Author: Cunningham, Paula
Pub Date: 03/01/2009
Publication: Name: New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy Publisher: New Zealand Society of Physiotherapists Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2009 New Zealand Society of Physiotherapists ISSN: 0303-7193
Issue: Date: March, 2009 Source Volume: 37 Source Issue: 1
Topic: NamedWork: Management of Spinal Cord Injuries-A Guide for Physiotherapists (Nonfiction work)
Persons: Reviewee: Harvey, L.; Donovan, W.H.
Accession Number: 207945613
Full Text: Management of Spinal Cord Injuries--A Guide for Physiotherapists. L. Harvey and W.H. Donovan, 2008. Butterworth Heinemann (Elsevier). ISBN 9780443068584. Soft cover, 288 pages. NZD 129.41

The aim of Harvey and Donovan's book is to provide an overview of physiotherapy management of people with spinal cord injuries. It is specifically designed as a book for students and junior physiotherapists with little or no experience in the area of spinal cord injury whilst still being of interest to more senior therapists. The book is clearly laid out, containing 14 chapters which are split into five sections. Each section builds on the last, starting with topics that therapists should all be aware of when treating anyone who has sustained a spinal cord injury before moving into the more physiotherapy specific issues.

The introduction covers information on the spinal cord, how injuries are classified (ASIA), functional levels, syndromes associated with incomplete injuries and complications. Functional mobility such as transfers, wheelchair propulsion, gait, and hand function is reviewed in the next section. As therapists need to train compensatory strategies or techniques when rehabilitating a person with spinal cord injuries, the book provided useful examples of how to break down these strategies with clear illustrations.

Physiotherapy management of pain, the respiratory system, spasticity and contractures, as well as cardiovascular and strength training are also examined with the final sections outlining key features of wheelchair and seating and evidence based practice.

The book stays true to its aim being an overview that does not provide depth on any one topic, however it gives keen readers and more experienced therapists a chance to further their knowledge with each chapter being well referenced.

Overall Harvey and Donovan have produced a well written, easy to read, concise text. I liked the fact that this book catered for incomplete and complete spinal cord injuries. For any physiotherapy department or therapist who works with spinal injured patients this serves as a good reference text. Highly recommended.

Paula Cunningham

Outpatient Coordinator

Auckland Spinal Rehabilitation Unit
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