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Book Review: Multiple Sclerosis - The Questions You Have, The Answers You Need, 5th Ed
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Multiple Sclerosis: The Questions You Have, The Answers You Need, Fifth Edition
Rosalind C. Kalb, PhD

 Multiple Sclerosis: The Questions You Have, The Answers You Need, Fifth EditionBook Details:
Published: 2012
ISBN: 978-1-936303-16-8
Format: Paperback
Pages: 365 pp, 426 with glossary, medications, resources and index.
Price: $24.95
Publisher: Demos Medical Publishing
Where to buy: www.demoshealth.com

Review:
Dr. Kalb has now edited the fifth edition of this definitive guide and resource book of the multiple issues facing people with MS and their families, and it is equally beneficial to the multi-disciplinary professionals working with them. It offers vindication for the common trope, There are no dumb questions, stated by a woman I know who has lived with MS for over 25 years, and who also reviewed the book. As the title indicates, questions and answers form the body of the book, which invited her to browse to find nuggets of useful information.

The book emphasizes the collaborative relationship between those with MS and their health care professionals. The chapter authors are nationally recognized leaders in their fields, working at the premier institutions serving people with MS and their families. The book covers a wide range of topics from the basics of what is MS and various treatment options to insurance concerns and family issues. The Question and Answer format enables the reader to focus on specific issues of interest or concern, allowing for informed discussion with health care providers, and as an important resource for the individual’s support system. There is a note to the reader by two people with MS who found the book helpful, and an introduction by Nancy Holland which is a valuable guide for using the information in the book, setting a welcome and nurturing tone for the reader.

The section headings of understanding MS, treatment options, coping with its challenges for the individual and the family, and recommended financial and life planning strategies offer just a glimpse of the wealth of detail inside each section. My friend was pleased to find new and useful information about budgeting energy, tips on naptime, fluid intake, financial planning and questions about assisted living and nursing homes. It raised questions for her to explore with her physician, giving her greater participation in her health care and greater awareness of the disease process.

The sections on cognitive challenges, coping and adaptation, emotional challenges and how MS affects the family are thoughtfully and compassionately written, giving hands on advise as if the authors were talking to you personally. Terms used in the glossary are highlighted for easy reference. The appendix on medications commonly used in MS will be especially helpful, as well as a listing of additional readings and an exhaustive list of resources.

This book is highly recommended for those living with MS at any stage of the illness, their families and friends and for those in all the varied disciplines who work with people with MS, all would benefit from this informed and humanitarian resource.

About the Reviewer:
Roberta Winter, LCSW, MSCS
Roberta Winter

Roberta Winter has been a social worker/care manager with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) since 1991, specializing in working with patients and their families who live with Multiple Sclerosis. She has worked with in patients and out patients at the Institute and has led multiple support groups for patients and families. She currently facilitates the MS Support Group at RIC and is a member of the clinical faculty of the Chicago Center for Family Health, a mental health counseling organization, providing individual and family therapy to MS patients and their families, as well as others living with illness and disability.

She is a graduate of the Columbia University School of Social Work, and a member of the National Association of Social Workers. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of Illinois and is a Multiple Sclerosis Certified Specialist. She is active in the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers, is a member of the Board of Governors, serving as co-chair of the Clinical Care Committee and is a member of the MS Certified Specialist exam committee. She regularly chairs a symposium at the Annual Meeting of the Consortium of MS Centers focusing on the role of the social worker with the MS patient and family.

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