Patient Activated Care for Rural Elderly.Lorin R. Gaarder and Saul Cohen. Boise, ID: Mountain States Health Corporation, 1982. 114 pages, soft bound, $7.50
This book is based on a two-year program of the Mountain States Health Corporation (MSHC). Subtitled, "A Program Development and Teaching Guide for Planners, Facilitators, and Coordinators," the purpose of the book is to outline the program for other communities to use.
Patient activated care could be called selfcare, but the authors have chosen this terminology "because 'activated' contrasts well with the passivity many people display in the doctor's office." Goals for program participants include developing the ability to recognize symptoms of common diseases; learning to perform simple diagnostic procedures; learning to evaluate the need for and appropriateness of visits to health care professionals; and more conscientious practice of preventive health care measures.
There are three divisions of the book: Program Development, Session Guides and Evaluation. This last portion provides tools for evaluating program sessions, the workshop as a whole, and participants1 knowledge of health care practices in a pre-test, post-test format.
The "Getting Started" portion discusses the recruitment and duties of personnel, provides sample publicity materials, a developmental time line, and resource options, including a choice of appropriate textbooks.
The thirteen Session Guides are intended to create a ten week, twenty hour course. Each session identifies objectives, materials and resources, and significant information to be presented. Various sessions include skills to be learned, tips for home use, alternative learning activities, national resources, potential sources of local information or suitable guest lecturers.
The book has one serious fault: a large number of typographical errors. In spite of this problem, I would recommend this book for its practical and easily followed format. The need for improved education of the health care consumer must be met as health care resources become more limited. This book meets that need well. Although I cannot address a specific group of health care professionals as an audience for this book, I would like to stress its value to the community, and commend it to the community health professionals.