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Title: Motor Control: Translating Research into Clinical Practice, Fourth Edition

Author: Anne Shumway-Cook, PT, PhD, FAPTA; Marjorie Wollacott, PhD
Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; Number of pages: 641
Reviewed by: Nicholas LeCursi, CO

While orthotists and prosthetists are familiar with the mechanical influence of their interventions on the musculoskeletal system, they may be less familiar with the role that motor control, motor learning, and motor development play in achieving their clinical outcome. Motor Control: Translating Research into Clinical Practice may serve as a resource for practitioners interested in enhancing their understanding of these areas.

The authors of this fourth edition-Anne Shumway-Cook, PT, PhD, professor emeritus at the University of Washington, and Marjorie Woollacott, PhD, professor emeritus at the University of Oregon-share research and clinical interests that include balance and mobility impairments in older adults. Both authors have published extensively on the subject.

This text, written for the physical therapist, seeks to make motor control research accessible to the clinician. The authors cite more than 1,700 scholarly references for this latest edition. The various theories of motor control are presented in their historical context, along with limitations and clinical implications. The physiological and neurological bases of motor control are presented to help establish a conceptual framework for clinical practice. Part two of the text is dedicated to postural control, part three to mobility, and part four of the text is dedicated to reach, grasp, and manipulation. Each of these sections is further refined into treatments of normal function, development, abnormal function, and clinical management. The case studies included at the end of some sections and on the companion DVD illustrate the application of the various theories and approaches to clinical practice.

In summary: The text is well organized and well researched. Orthotists and prosthetists can expect to gain a better understanding of the therapist's approach to the treatment of impaired motor function. That understanding may serve to enhance collaboration as part of the multidisciplinary rehabilitation team. Orthotists and prosthetists may also find that their biomechanical approach to the treatment of neuromuscular impairment may be informed by a greater awareness of the underlying issues related to impaired motor control.

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