Head Trauma Basics

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1993, Vol 38(11), 1186–1187. Reviews the book, Handbook of Head Trauma: Acute Care to Recovery edited by Charles J. Long and Leslie K. Ross (1992). This edited volume consisting of primarily clinically oriented contributions is divided into six sections. The first two sections covering medical management issues and issues in neuropsychological assessment and the fourth section on outcome prediction are the strongest. The first section contains two chapters summarizing the kinds of clinical management issues considered by the emergency room physician or the trauma surgeon who may be charged with the initial care of an acute head trauma victim. The second section on neuropsychological assessment covers ground that has been covered more extensively elsewhere. Perhaps the most controversial aspect of the management of head injury is the area of cognitive rehabilitation and therapy. The third, fifth, and sixth sections covering these topics reflect wide differences in skepticism and critical presentation of evidence. Though this book is clearly designed for the clinician rather than as a review of current research, these sections would have benefited by an introductory chapter reviewing in general the problems and prospects of evaluating cognitive rehabilitation outcome studies, so that the reader would be armed with the necessary cautions before these techniques are attempted. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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