1. Thompson, Hilaire J. PhD RN CNRN

Article Content

N. D. Zasler, D. I. Katz, & R. D. Zafonte (Editors), New York: Demos Medical Publishing, 2007, 1,304 pages, $210.00, ISBN 1888799935.


BrainInjury Medicine: Principles and Practice is a good resource for nurses from multiple specialties who care for traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients across the continuum of care. It will be particularly useful to those nurses practicing in rehabilitation, clinics, and community settings and for those interested in learning more about the process of recovery from injury.


The book contains 66 chapters and covers topics from epidemiology, pathophysiology of disease and recovery, neurological testing, prognosis and outcome, medicolegal issues, to management of specific issues that are common following TBI such as seizures, balance problems, and fatigue. Each of these problem-oriented chapters contains pathophysiology of the issue, specifically showing its relationship to TBI, along with holistic assessment and management of the problem. The book also contains well-written chapters on age-specific issues of TBI for both pediatric and older adult populations.


One chapter in the text entitled "Neurorehabilitation Nursing of Persons With TBI" is dedicated to nursing care of severe TBI patients across the continuum of care from the intensive care unit to rehabilitation. However, because the book was published prior to the 2007 severe TBI guidelines revision, the information contained in this chapter is not the most current. In addition, issues central to the nursing care of the mild TBI patient such as monitoring and education are not addressed.


A few issues lessen the overall usefulness of the book for those practicing in acute and critical care settings: There are only two chapters that specifically deal with acute care of the TBI patient and the fact that the 2007 guidelines are not incorporated into the book. In addition, some of the epidemiological data presented are not fully reflective of current statistics, so the reader should look to additional sources for the most current data.


Some of the most interesting aspects of the book are the chapters on alternative treatments for TBI. Given increasing use of complementary and alternative medicine, more patients and families will be using these therapies, and it will be important for nurses to be well informed about them. The book contains chapters on neutraceuticals, traditional Chinese medicine, and complementary and alternative medicine. Discussion is provided as to the rationale for use of such therapies for symptom management and the available published evidence for use of these therapies in TBI patients.


Overall, the book is a comprehensive text on the management of the TBI patient and will be useful to the neuroscience nurse interested in discovering more about this population.


Reviewed by Hilaire J. Thompson, PhD RN CNRN, Assistant Professor, Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Systems, The University of Washington, Seattle, WA.