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Book Review: The MS Workbook - Living Fully with Multiple Sclerosis
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The MS Workbook: Living Fully with Multiple Sclerosis
Kurt Johnson; Dawn Ehde; George Kraft; Robert Fraser

Book Details:
Published: February 2006
ISBN: 1-57224-390-2
Format: Paperback
Pages: 264
Publisher: The New Harbinger Publications
Price: $19.95

Editorial Review by Dorothea Cassidy Pfohl, RN, MSCN:
As it promises on the cover, this comprehensive guide includes well thought out approaches to topics of importance to people with MS and their loved ones. Conceived as a coping tool, a broad range of topics like fatigue, pain, emotional distress, and relationship issues are given in depth attention in a workbook format. Within its chapters are rich resources for building understanding, developing networks of support, and discovering strategies to manage the intricacies and social ramifications of living with MS. From Optimizing Your Medical Management, Chapter 1, (which includes an overview of medicines used to treat MS), to Perspectives on Psychotherapy (Chapter 3) readers find realistic and practical approaches to care.

Chapters contain lists of pertinent questions and worksheets potentially tailoring an understanding of not just generalities, but the uniqueness of the individual at hand. Whether concerns are about physical changes, cognitive decline, employment, finances, mobility, tax questions or filing for SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance), issues are approached in a thorough and thoughtful fashion. The perspective offered on caring and caregiving (Chapter 12) provides the often unrecognized and overburdened loved one sanction for introspection, affirmation, and education. When combined with subsequent chapters on spirituality and sex the insights inspired can become invaluable communication catalysts.

The editors taped a vein of golden expertise that allows each chapter to stand on its own. Support group leaders could find within its pages, topics for seasons of meetings. When read in sequence, (The MS Workbook provides an informative and hopeful overview of living with the complex, challenging and unpredictable nature of MS and a proactive approach to striving to live it well.

About the Reviewer:
Dottie (Dorothea Cassidy) Pfohl RN BS is clinical coordinator for the Comprehensive MS Center at the University of Pennsylvania Health System, Philadelphia, PA. She has been involved in neurological clinical research for over twenty years and has specialized in the care of people with MS since 1989. She is active in the community and committed to health education. She is a founding board member of IOMSN and chairperson of the membership committee.

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