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Muscle and Sensory Testing, 2d ed.

Muscle and Sensory Testing, 2nd edition, Nancy Berryman Reese, Gary Soderberg, Reta Zabel and Venita Lovelace-Chandler, 2005, Elsevier Saunders, ISBN 0721603378; soft cover (spiral bound with DVD), 642 pages, $119;25

The text consists of 10 chapters and a DVD.

The first chapter provides a general overview of muscle strength and assessment along with factors that impact the validity and reliability of manual muscle testing (MMT) and its assessment, along with an interesting section on muscle testing versus muscle screening. Chapters 2 to 4 cover MMT procedures for the extremities, head/face, neck and trunk, and the author presents a very structured regime of patient positioning, stabilization/ palpation, examiner action, patient action, resistance, grading results (scale 5-0), and gravity assisted/ eliminated tests for every test. Common action substitutions are also included. A line drawing of each muscle and its innervating nerve along with tables describing attachments, nerve supply and functions and also very clear and informative photographs are provided for every test and muscle.

Chapters 5, 6 and 7 cover functional and paediatric muscle testing, and hand held dynamometry for muscle testing. Chapters five and six would be of use to those either just beginning their experience in paediatrics and/or functional assessments, or those physiotherapist who only have a fleeting requirement of such. Soderberg's chapter on Hand Held Dynamometry (HHD) is extensively referenced however, and delves into the history, advantages and limitations of HHD. This is clearly a man frustrated by the inaccuracies of applicator error. It is a shame, therefore, that the book deviates from the fundamental principles it established in Chapters 2 to 4, when dealing with patient positioning and HHD.

Chapter 8 covers sensory testing including; pain, light touch, temperature, vibration, proprioception and deep tendon reflex testing. And Chapter 9 is the rather grandly titled 'Techniques of the Remainder of the Neurologic Examination: Coordination, Mental Status, Cranial Nerves, and superficial Reflexes'. While the overall quality of the text remains high, I found aspects of the 'Mental Status' examination in this chapter lacking. Chapter 10 on 'Observational Gait Analysis as a screening tool' seemed to me like tired padding at the end of the book and was very much just at an undergraduate level. The author makes some use of case studies and I would rather have seen the final chapter devoted to summation of these case studies.

The enclosed DVD contains demonstration of chapters 2-4, 7, 8 and 9 and is very easy to navigate.

The book is well referenced, and apart from one significant typo in the chapter on MMT, was well formatted. The book is large, with a spiral bound soft cover, and whilst it lays flat nicely, I found that it quickly became tatty.

Practicing physiotherapists will be well aware of the information within this book, and so I would not rush to add this to the work library if there was already text available covering the above information. As an undergraduate I would compare the layout and format that the author uses with other texts, and if it was to my liking I would endorse this book and DVD as a learning tool.
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Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Boric, Michael
Publication:New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy
Article Type:Audiobook review
Date:Jul 1, 2007
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