In review: books, web resources, videos

Featured book The Health Gap: The challenge of an unequal world: Michael Marmot.

This book highlights the movement of the NHS’s focus from treatment to prevention. By prevention, I mean getting out of the hospital, making a difference at a societal level to stop people getting sick in the first place. Marmot describes this as a ‘moral absolute’, and the current situation as a ‘social injustice’.   
The Health Gap takes you on a chronological journey through life. Marmot outlines, for example, the shocking differences in life expectancy on two sides of Glasgow and discusses the impact of high rates of maternal depression among poorer populations. Children from poorer families are less likely to be exposed to reading, social interaction, encouragement and general stimulation – the key ingredients for a healthy and happy infancy.
Next, Marmot tackles education. In Mozambique, for example, infant mortality rates are halved in mothers with a secondary school education. The need to provide support at the beginning of life is paramount.  We can no longer let society down by waiting for ‘something to go wrong’, Marmot says.
Turning to work, he says stress, little reward and a lack of incentive are all linked to early deaths and heart disease. Turn the societal pyramid on its head, and it gets even worse. Unemployment is directly linked to impaired mental health and the risk of early death.
If all this seems too bleak, do not fear. Marmot offers some hope, showing that change can happen – and, more importantly, how. Marmot says money spent on supporting parents and providing comprehensive education is a sound investment. There should be incentives to work and work should be available to all, he suggests.  As a last resort, a  social security and welfare safety net should be ready to catch us.
As a physiotherapist, I have a duty of care to my patients and also have a duty of care to society in general. We know the impact of physical activity on children’s education and achievement levels. Why is this not a basic ingredient of every conversation we have with patients?
  • Stuart Palma, CSP professional adviser

Advanced Techniques in Musculoskeletal Medicine & Physiotherapy: Using minimally invasive therapies in practice Fermín Valera Garrido and Francisco Minaya Muñoz

This is a new illustrated guide to the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders. It demonstrates how to use minimally invasive therapies in a safe and effective way.

The AliveCor Mobile electrocardiogram (ECG) records accurate ECGs and heart rate anywhere, anytime at an affordable cost.Patients can rest it on their fingers or chest to record an ECG in 30 seconds. ‘Know right away when your ECG is normal and if atrial fibrillation is detected’, a note marketing the item on the website notes.
  • Stuart Palma, CSP professional adviser

Writing a Proposal for Your Dissertation: Guidelines and examples Steven R Terrell

This ‘user-friendly’ guide helps students get started on – and complete – a successful doctoral dissertation proposal by explaining the process and breaking it down into manageable steps. Topics include writing the research questions and hypotheses. 

The Smart but Scattered Guide to Success: How to use your brain’s executive skills to keep up, stay calm, and get organized at work and at home Peg Dawson and Richard Guare

The authors offer guidance on boosting executive skills – the core brain-based abilities needed to get more done with less stress.

Managing Pain Before it Manages You (4th Edition) Margaret A Caudill-Slosberg

The author, a pain specialist and physician,  sets out 10 steps that can change how people with pain feel – both physically and emotionally. Topics include treatments to cope with flare-ups, solving everyday problems, and harnessing the power of relaxation techniques.
Frontline and various

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