Rehabilitation of the Elderly- A Tale of ???? Hospitals. Morris W. Stroud III, Sidney Katz, and Barbara Anne Gooding. East Lansing, Michigan State University Press, 1985, 210 pages, hardcover, $19.95.
The increasing number of elderly people with chronic, disabling conditions has presented new challenges for medical practice. Multiple causal factors, a multitude of manifestations, the long-term services provided, and other factors have made the evaluation of treatment modalities very difficult. The stated main purposes of this book are to document the strengths and deficiencies of rehabilitation activities, and to suggest improvements.
Over 80% of this text meticulously describes two prospective longitudinal studies that were conducted to discover whether rehabilitation did result in measurable improvement in function. The initial study was conducted before the passage of Medicare legislation; the second study was conducted 15 years later, after the passage of Medicare legislation.
The basic rehabilitation approach used in these studies differed. The second study emphasized the involvement of the patient and family in establishing and achieving goals. Rehabilitation at home, supervision of rehabilitation, and systematic follow-up were also important aspects of the second study. These rehabilitation approaches were not major foci of the initial study.
Ten of the 12 chapters in this book specifically describe the methodology and results of each study. A detailed comparison of their results is also included. The remaining two chapters describe the current concepts, practices, and suggestions for improving rehabilitation in the future.
The authors meticulously describe these studies in an appropriate research style (eg, setting, design, subject selection, procedure, measures). Some chapters critically evaluate certain facets of the rehabilitation process and contain brief case histories. A number of tables, forms, definitions, and assessment instruments are included in the appendices.
The authence of this text is not specifically identified. This reviewer feels that this text would be a useful reference for those who contemplate or are engaged in longitudinal studies or healthcare providers whose principal focus is rehabilitation research.