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Developing Advanced Assessment Skills: Patients with Long-Term Conditions (LTCs)

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Title: Developing Advanced Assessment Skills: Patients with Long-Term Conditions (LTCs)

Authors: Edited by Ann Saxon & Sue Lillyman

Publisher:  M&K Publishing

Reviewer: Dr. Jo Wilson, senior research associate, Wilson Healthcare Services

What was it like?

A practical text book aimed at self-learning with coverage of several models of assessment, care planning and physical examinations. It has nine chapters and the first four provide proactive use of history taking, physical examination, patient assessment tools including proactive assessments for anticipatory events with action planning, personal plans and action planning using positive aspects to care planning. These sections clearly link learning to continuous professional development, reflective practice, KSF and developing leadership skills.

Chapters 5-9 cover specific assessments for chronic respiratory disease, chronic heart failure, diabetes mellitus, musculoskeletal pain and multiple sclerosis. These sections are well written with clear links to evidence-based practice, established quality standards and clinical outcomes. There is good use of photographs, and use of objective and subjective data from patients.



What were the highlights?

The highlights for me were the exercises provided throughout each chapter, which were linked to case scenarios and the application of various models.  Also the use of diagrams with labels to be completed by the reader and websites to check the answers. The textbook is well laid out with usage of tables, photographs and description. It is also well referenced, uses good internet linked resources and areas for further information and advice.

Strengths and weaknesses?

The strengths are around self-directed learning and the LTCs, which the book covers really well. The weaknesses are around the lack of patient and professional joint decision making and the encouragement of patient independence and use of the autonomy. More could also have been applied to the involvement of carers and family members including the important roles they play in the assessment processes. The skills in these areas are essential in caring for people with LTCs. More could have been referenced or applied to around Integrated Care and the importance of the multidisciplinary team in assessment and diagnosis of LTCs.

Who should read it?

Potential readers are nurses with an interest in caring for people with LTCs, case workers, community matrons and nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, junior doctors and carers of people and people with LTCs.

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