April 10, 1981

Rehabilitation Management of Rheumatic Conditions

Author Affiliations

Veterans Administration Hospital Pittsburgh


edited by George E. Ehrlich (Rehabilitation Medicine Library, John V. Basmajian, ed), 322 pp, 63 illus, $34.95, Baltimore, Williams & Wilkins Co, 1980.

JAMA. 1981;245(14):1477. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03310390075036

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The mission of this book appears to be to advocate that patients with long-term rheumatic diseases be treated by a multidisciplinary team. The 18 contributors, of whom four are physicians, address many topics, but without giving enough specific information to guide the physician in the treatment of his own patient. For example, "the patient should be instructed as to what is the normal range (of motion) and how it is obtained." However, no exercises are described, nor is there a table of normal ranges of motion. "Warm moist heat in its various forms (moist heating pads, hot packs, paraffin dips) can be effective," but no illustrations or recommendations regarding duration or temperature are provided. There is a well-written chapter on splinting by an occupational therapist, but it is limited to treatment of the hand and wrist. Nothing further is said about the treatment of contractures. Self-help devices are not mentioned.