In review: featured books and video and e-book

Our featured book titled 'Play in Healthcare for Adults' deal with the fundamentals of play and its importance in the political health agenda.  Read on...

Featured book

Play in Healthcare for Adults: Using play to promote health and wellbeing across the adult lifespan: Alison Tonkin and Julia Whitaker (eds) ISBN: 9781138931237

The Chinese philosopher Confucius said: ‘It is better to play than do nothing’. This quote is used to discuss play as a therapeutic intervention. While ‘play’ is often associated with childhood and adolescents and is not considered in adulthood, this book puts such stereotypes to the test and provides theoretical, evidence based and case study examples on how play is used in adult health care.  

Within physiotherapy and rehabilitation, some approaches represented in this book, such as exercise, specific sports-based rehabilitation and use of music, are widely used but may not be considered in terms of ‘play’.  But applying the term ‘play’ could be considered by some as simplistic.

However, the authors demonstrate the benefit of applying play-based activities in healthcare settings, both on an individual and, more significantly, in group or social settings.  This links into the public health agenda. 

Throughout this book, there is a strong message about the fundamentals of play and its importance in the political health agenda and how play is ‘inherent in the natural human disposition for self-discovery and personal fulfilment’.

The editors are Alison Tonkin, who has a research background in health promotion for children, and Julia Whitaker, whose background is in social work.

Their thought-provoking book looks at solutions to healthcare issues that do not involve the use of medication.  The book has 23 chapters, ranging from health-related topics relating to play, to ‘play in technology’ and ‘play in politics’. Some topics might not relate directly to clinical work but may still be of interest.  

Chapter seven promotes using enjoyable exercises to improve wellbeing. It includes suggestions for making health improvements in obesity, diabetes, stroke, coronary heart disease and dementia. The authors recommend sporting activities, social networking and ‘Men in Sheds’ – an interesting idea developed in Australia as a way of cutting men’s social isolation. 

  • Julie Rees is a senior physio and Natalie Robertson is a principal physio with Cardiff and Vale University Health Board 

Sports medicine

The medical team at Arsenal FC is to host a medical conference at the Emirates Stadium on 21March. See here.  Topics include screening as a tool for injury prevention and reduction: a physiotherapist’s view. To watch a video about last year’s event, click here.  Source: 

Faces of Parkinson: Global reflections on PD

Published by the US-based World Parkinson’s Coalition, this book is aimed at medical staff, students or ‘anyone touched by Parkinson’s’. It contains more than 60 Parkinson’s-related  stories, and reading it is described as ‘an excellent way to understand a disease that is often misunderstood’.

For more information, visit 

Alcohol and tobacco consultation

The University of Birmingham and others are developing national data standards for recording alcohol and tobacco use in electronic patient records. They seek the views of patients, healthcare professionals and others. 

Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled: Ruby Wax ISBN: 9780241186480

The comic and writer Ruby Wax tells readers how to ‘de-frazzle’ by making simple changes that give people time to breathe, reflect and live in the moment. She calls for mindfulness to be taught in schools.  

Ben again: The inspirational memoir of traumatic brain injury survivor Ben Clench

Ebook: ‘My thinking is all jumbled, questions surface and sink without real understanding. I do not feel happy or sad.’ The author outlines his recovery journey.

Frontline and various

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