Book Review: Cerebral Palsy: From Diagnosis to Adult Life


Book Review: Cerebral Palsy: From Diagnosis to Adult Life
A practical guide from Mac Keith Press Peter Rosenbaum and Lewis Rosenbloom
London : Mac Keith Press , 2012 .
£29.95 (Paperback) pp , 176 .
ISBN : 978-1-908316-50-9

This excellent, easy-to read book is written by two of the world’s leading clinicians in the field of cerebral palsy: Peter Rosenbaum, a developmental paediatrician, and Lewis Rosenbloom, a paediatric neurologist. There is also a significant contribution from Margaret Mayston, a physiotherapist and academic.

The book is divided into four parts. In Part 1, there is information about the epidemiology, aetiology, and classification of cerebral palsy. Part 2 has three exceptionally good chapters: the first of these chapters provides a valuable approach to evaluating research evidence; the second chapter describes the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health and how this concept can be used to focus on each child’s strengths; and the third chapter is about family issues with a section on communicating with parents being particularly helpful. Part 3 deals with clinical issues including the principles of intervention, and orthodox and alternative therapies. Part 4 discusses the measurement of outcomes, transition issues, quality of life, and there is also a chapter on adult functioning.

In due course, the book will be an important historical document, as it provides such an excellent overview of the current state of knowledge of cerebral palsy and the principles that should guide assessment, diagnosis, and treatment. There are many outstanding features of this book but three vital principles are repeatedly emphasized. Firstly, the importance of a strength-based approach is stressed, which is far more helpful than the deficits model which has pervaded our thinking in years past. Secondly, the enormous value of setting clear goals in partnership with parents, using a family-centred model of care, is reinforced. Finally, the importance of an evidence-based approach to treatment is highlighted.

Cerebral Palsy: From Diagnosis to Adult LIfe provides practical advice on all aspects of cerebral palsy. The wisdom, compassion, and personal perspectives of the authors are evident in every chapter. The book should be compulsory reading for paediatricians, including trainees, and all those other health professionals that contribute to the management of individuals with cerebral palsy. But perhaps most importantly, it is also written in accessible language that will enable it to be useful for families and people with cerebral palsy themselves. Professor Rosenbaum and Dr Rosenbloom have achieved the difficult task of speaking equally to all readers, putting into practice the principles that they espouse in the text.