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Introduction to Physical Therapy, ed 3

MJ Gelsomino
Pagliarulo MA, ed. St Louis, MO 63146, Mosby, 2007, paperback, 387 pp, illus, ISBN: 0-323-03284-2, $44.95.

The third edition of Introduction to Physical Therapy provides a comprehensive and current description of the profession and practice of physical therapy, as stated by the editor. The purpose and intended audience (physical therapist and physical therapist assistant students) remains consistent with the first 2 editions, published in 1996 and 2001. The book provides an overview of the current profession and practice of physical therapy in the United States.

The book is organized in 2 parts: “Profession” and “Practice.” The 8 chapters in the first part define the profession of physical therapy. Chapter 1 provides a historic context for its evolution, beginning with the American Women's Physical Therapy Association in the early 1900s to the current American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) to APTA's Vision 2020 statement. Core professional documents are presented in chapter 2.Roles and characteristics of physical therapists and physical therapist assistants, as defined in the Guide to Physical Therapist Practice (the Guide), are described. The chapter includes a summary of current demographic and employment characteristics.

The roles and characteristics of physical therapist assistants and their relationship with physical therapists are explored in chapter 3. Chapter 4, “Communication in Physical Therapy in the 21st Century,” is new to this edition, and addresses the complex attributes of communication and affective behaviors that are inherent in effective patient-therapist relationships. Chapter 5, “Laws, Regulations, and Policies,” deals with legal issues.

Chapter 6, “Financing and Reimbursing Health Care in Physical Therapy,” is another new addition, and introduces the reader to the complex issues related to health care financing and reimbursement in the United States. Chapter 7 deals with the issues that physical therapists confront as a result of the rapid evolution from classification as technicians to autonomous health care professionals. Chapter 8 describes APTA and other related professional organizations. Overall, part 1 provides a comprehensive and thorough description of the profession of physical therapy in the United States today.

Part II describes the practice of physical therapy consistent with the Guide. This part is divided into 6 chapters that describe patient/client management for musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular and pulmonary, and integumentary conditions, with special considerations for the pediatric and older adult populations. These chapters consistently provide a general description of the system or population, common conditions, and an overview of the application of the patient/client management model. Case studies are presented to illustrate key concepts in each chapter.

This is a well-written and well-organized text that reflects consistency among the contributors. Boxes, figures, numerous photographs, and tables are used liberally throughout the text to effectively complement the text and illustrate major points. Each chapter begins with a quotation that conveys the essence of the subject figures matter—from historical such as Aeschylus and Einstein, from professional leaders such as Helen Hislop and Ruth Wood, and from professional documents such as APTA's Vision 2020 statement. Chapter outlines, key terms, and reader objectives provide organizational consistency throughout. Most chapters contain case studies and review questions to further reinforce concepts. References and additional resources are included at the end of each chapter. A glossary is included that allows readers to easily locate key terms.

Of special note are the dedication to the Gulf Coast communities that were affected by Hurricane Katrina and the 10% of annual royalties that have been pledged to the community of Pearlington, Mississippi.

This edition of Introduction to Physical Therapy has immediate relevance and application to physical therapists in the United States. It provides a comprehensive introduction and description of the profession and practice of physical therapy. The additions of chapters related to communication financial issues are welcome and needed.

This text is directly relevant to the education of physical therapist and physical therapist assistant students. It provides breadth and sufficient depth to introduce students to the profession and practice of physical therapy, is consistent with APTA core documents and the Guide, and complements current texts used in physical therapy education programs that provide the needed depth for preparation of physical therapists and physical therapist assistants. Anyone interested in learning about physical find in this book an therapy will accessible and thorough description of the profession as it exists in the United States today.

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