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Care of Gastrointestinal Problems in the Older Adult


Reviewed by Sharon Baker, MS, RN, CNS, CNRN


Edited by Sue E. Meiner. New York: Springer, 2004. ISBN 0-8261-1865-8.


The book begins with an introduction outlining the contents in the subsequent chapters. The chapters are set up in the same format with definition, etiology, physiology, pathophysiology, nursing care and interventions, diagnostic tests and procedures, and quality of care issues. For example, gastroesophageal reflux disease is defined as "any symptoms or histopathological changes that result from reflux of gastric contents into the esophagus" (page 24). The content that follows the definitions is easy to understand and incorporate into daily nursing practice. The one area that I can identify that needs to be updated is the nursing diagnoses and interventions. The taxonomy of the North American Nursing Diagnosis Association is a comprehensive clinical practice guideline that gives the profession a full range of nursing interventions from general to specialty area practice. This classification needs to be outlined in this book. This would then enable all nurses to provide the same standardized care for this type of patient. The other focus of "older adult" is not addressed specifically in each chapter. I did not read any special considerations for the older adult with a specific gastrointestinal problem.


Overall, the book is well written and would be helpful for all nurses by providing a standardized method in caring for the patient with gastrointestinal problems.