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Book Reviews

After a Stroke: 300 Tips for Making Life Easier

Cleo Hutton, Demos Medical Publishing, 2005, $16.95, 160 pages 

Audience: all rehabilitation nursing practitioners


Key Words: hemorrhagic stroke, ischemic stroke


Almost 5 million Americans live with the aftereffects of stroke. Stroke can be a family affair. The author states that the book’s mission is to foster independence for people with stroke and promote healing with a positive outlook. This easy to read and indexed book meets this stated mission. The book is a good addition to the resources available to student and rehabilitation nurses, as well as other professionals and the general public, for understanding people with stroke. The author, who is a survivor of two strokes and a licensed practical nurse, gives the reader practical tips that she learned and used in her 12-year journey of recovery. In the preface, the author describes basic information about hemorrhagic and ischemic strokes; gives the warning signs and risk factors of stroke; and stresses the importance of calling 911, as stroke is a medical emergency.

The next 10 sections and subsections focus on diverse topics, such as tips for communication, safety, personal care, self-esteem, intimacy, recreational activities, relaxation techniques, and family needs. A list of pertinent Web sites would make a nice addition to each section. Nevertheless, in tips for improving self-esteem, the author uses humor as a healing tool and shares her mnemonic device using the word STROKE. The letter S is for strength; T stands for time to heal, evaluate, and learn about yourself; R denotes rehabilitation that is an ongoing commitment; O represents opportunity to change; K means knowledge and kindness to self and others; and E is for a safe environment. Personal advice is shared for making each letter of the word come to life during the healing process. Pictures are sprinkled throughout the text and are especially helpful in describing adaptive equipment and tips for use. A final section detailing available resources includes associations and organizations, as well as suggested readings and videos.

The book can be read in sections depending upon the reader’s area of interest and need. Individuals will find this a useful book for a quick review of 300 practical tips. Nurses and healthcare professionals can use these suggestions, as they work with stroke survivors and their families. However, the reader must remember that this book represents one woman’s experience with stroke. Although it was not the intent of this book, it would be interesting to know what a stroke encounter is like for men and people of other ethnic backgrounds.

Reviewed by Linda L. Pierce, PhD RN CNS CRRN FAHA

Infants, Children, and Youth with Disabilities

The National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research & The Consortium for Children and Youth with Disabilities and Special Health Care Needs, National Rehabilitation Information Center, 2004, 133 pages

Audience: Researchers, professionals, teachers, rehabilitation personnel and people with disabilities.


Key Words: disability, pediatrics


Identifying pertinent references in relation to disabled infants, children and youth may be problematic for researchers due to the limited resources available. The purpose of this guide was to assist researchers, professionals, teachers, rehabilitation personnel, and people with disabilities in locating research, training, educational, and resource materials related to infants, children, and youth with disabilities.

The 172 entries in the guide, including scholarly items and functional resources, were solicited in 2003 from currently funded National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research (NCDDR) grantees conducting research, development, or dissemination in the specific areas the guide focused on. All entries were required to attribute NCDDR, represent a relevant resource, and be produced no later than 1998. Each item includes the complete citation, grantee, a concise description of the entry, cost when available, contact name, and Web site addresses. The 12 chapters for the guide include books/book chapters, journal articles, project reports, conference papers, training manuals, newsletters and articles, fact sheets, guide books, Web sites, electronic mailing lists, video tapes, and NCDDR grantees that provided resource information. Also included are directions for using the guide and both subject and author indexes. Each chapter is preceded by a full page black-and-white photo of a disabled child actively involved in rehabilitation. These pictures demonstrate sensitivity necessary for professionals caring for disabled infants, children, and youth.

The limitation of the guide to entries of only NCDDR grantees was a minor weakness in the book because for the most part rehabilitation nursing articles, books and conferences were not included. Rehabilitation nurses in any clinical setting will find the guide to be an excellent resource when caring for patients, developing teaching programs for clients and family and/or staff, and when conducting rehabilitation nursing research on the pediatric population.

Reviewed by Corrinne Strandell, PhD RN

The Nursing Experience

Lucille A. Joel, www.mcgraw-hillmedical.com, 2006, $44.95, 763 pages Walter R. Frontera, David M. Slovick, David M. Dawson, Human Kinetics, 2006, $95.00, 454 pages

Audience: All nurses and students, including rehabilitation nurses


Key Words: credentialing, licensure


The Nursing Experience, provides an abundance of information on nursing’s rich history, complex trends and issues, and the challenges facing today’s nurse. Lucille Joel, well-known nursing leader and professional, is highly qualified to author this excellent contemporary nursing text. The purpose of the book is to make nursing your passion by stimulating your intellectual curiosity beyond the book’s content. The book is written in a reader friendly style that encourages creative thinking. The following modified quote is an example of this approach:

The author asks, “What does it matter whether or not we know anything about nursing history?” Her response, “A lot of nursing today was formed by its history; its development explains many things: its power or lack of power, its educational confusion, the makup of its practitioners, and the relationship between nursing, other health professionals and the public.”

The Nursing Experience, is divided into five parts, followed by seven appendixes at the end of the book. Part 1—The Evolution of Nursing includes care of the sick, how nursing began and nursing in the United States: American revolution to nursing revolution. Part 2—Nursing in the Health Care Scene discusses the healthcare delivery system and the discipline of nursing. The third part—Nursing Practice considers education and research for practice, career opportunities, and leadership for an era of change. Part 4—Nursing Ethics and Law includes ethical issues in nursing and healthcare; patients’ rights, and students’ rights; politics and public policy; healthcare credentialing and nursing licensure; and legal aspects of nursing practice. The last part—Transition into Practice considers nursing organizations and publications (Each is further listed in an appendix), working place choices and career management. Other appendixes identify major studies in nursing, State Boards of Nursing, healthcare personnel, specialty certifications, basics of parliamentary procedure, and selected distinguished nurses of the past 50 years.

Each chapter is introduced with behavioral study objectives and ends with a summary of chapter key points, thought-provoking study questions, references, and helpful Web site updates. A more extensive bibliography for each chapter is included at the end of the text. Nurses practicing in any clinical setting, nursing students at all levels, and nursing faculty from all programs will find this book a valuable resource for continual professional growth.

Reviewed by Corrinne Strandell, PhD RN

Exercise in Rehabilitation Medicine

Audience: Medical practitioners, particularly physicians and physical therapists


Key Words: physiologic response


This textbook is a comprehensive overview of recent advances in exercise science and its application to exercise prescription for common medical conditions. Information on the physiologic and functional consequences of disease is reviewed with emphasis on processes that would be most responsive to exercise.

Exercise is now a commonly accepted intervention to prevent or rehabilitate health conditions that can affect mobility. The book is organized into separate sections that present the physiologic mechanisms of endurance, strength, and flexibility training, clinical considerations for exercise testing and prevention programs, and the use of exercise for specific conditions such as osteoporosis, diabetes, obesity, and cancer. For each specific condition, a case study is used to illustrate real-life situations where exercise is indicated. The case study is followed with relevant background on the condition as well as exercise adaptations and prescription that are necessary for safe and effective exercise prescription within these special populations.

This textbook provides an in-depth update on exercise science, physiologic response to exercise, and specific exercise prescription recommendations for several common diseases and conditions typically seen in rehabilitation. The book would provide a comprehensive reference for rehabilitation nurses who may have an interest in learning more about the application and adaptation of exercise in rehabilitation populations.

Reviewed by Katherine J. Sullivan, PhD PT