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|Meeting the Challenge of Progressive Multiple Sclerosis|
the Challenge of Progressive Multiple
Free Preview: Chapter 7
"Meeting the Challenge of Progressive Multiple Sclerosis" lives up to the promise of its title. Dr Coyle and June Halper have created a concise, practical and useful overview of worsening MS and the dilemma faced when progression presents its challenges to patients and those who care about them. The language is straightforward and does not shy away from difficult topics yet always presents information with the reassurance of realistic hope.
From the first pages, which define and clarify current thinking about progressive forms of MS, this book ably explains classifications and transitions and answers questions frequently posed by the person fearful of the very term "progressive". There is a comprehensive review of diagnostic criteria and detailed explanations of what specific testing is expected to reveal. Tables list characteristics of progressive forms of the disease yet offer complexity with brevity. Indeed, in the chapter addressing symptom management, the tables are presented so elegantly, they serve as concise templates for developing individualized plans of care. The section on disease modifying therapy strives to be inclusive and unbiased and the review of research studies is remarkably up to date considering the speed with which change occurs in these areas. (The exception is the IMPACT study of double dose Avonex, which is completed, but listed as ongoing.)
"Meeting the Challenge" offers tools for the transition, explains the varied roles of rehabilitation specialists and provides a list of resources and additional readings. Quality of life preservation and advocacy feature prominently in chapters where suggestions for formal and informal arrangements encourage making the most of difficult circumstances.
Throughout the book, the needs and concerns of caregivers are addressed. Important topics, from sexuality and gender issues to parenting, patient rights and resource management, make each section useful and thought provoking. Always, options are presented as "choices that can evolve into hope." (preface ix)
Equally affirming is the "wellness" approach encouraging the person with progressive MS to face worsening disease with a holistic approach to health-"making room for the disease without giving it more space, more time, or more energy than it absolutely needs." (Chapter 7, p85). Both encouraging and informative, this book is a welcomed addition to the education areas of centers, resource rooms, patient libraries and professional offices. It's clarity makes it of value to the health care professional as well as the layman. The authors assert that "in facing worsening disease, people with MS must be empowered with tools for the transition...to help them adapt to change and remain functional and productive members of their families and the community" (P66). This thin book itself is such a tool.
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