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With the sixth edition of Physical Rehabilitation, we continue a tradition of striving for excellence that began more than 25 years ago. We are gratified by the continuing wide acceptance of Physical Rehabilitation by both faculty and students.

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The text is designed to provide a comprehensive approach to the rehabilitation management of adult patients. As such, it is intended to serve as a primary textbook for professional-level physical therapy students, and as an important resource for practicing therapists as well as for other rehabilitation professionals. The sixth edition recognizes the continuing growth of the profession and integrates basic and applied clinical research to guide and inform evidence-based clinical practice. It also integrates terminology, practice patterns, specific tests and measures, and interventions presented in the American Physical Therapy Association's Guide to Physical Therapist Practice and the World Health Organization's International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF).

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Physical Rehabilitation is organized into three sections. Section One (Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) includes chapters on clinical decision making and examination of basic systems, as well as examination of functional status and the environment. Section Two (Chapters 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29) addresses many of the diseases, disorders, and conditions commonly seen in the rehabilitation setting. Appropriate examination and intervention strategies are discussed for related body structure/function impairments, activity limitations, and restrictions in social participation. Health promotion and wellness strategies are also considered. Emphasis is placed on parameters of learning critical to ensuring the patient/client can achieve anticipated goals and expected outcomes. The final section, Section Three (Chapters 30, 31, 32), includes orthotics, prosthetics, and the prescriptive wheelchair.

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A central element of the text is a strong pedagogical format designed to facilitate and reinforce the learning of key concepts. Each chapter of Physical Rehabilitation includes an initial content outline, learning objectives, an introduction and summary, review questions for self-assessment, and extensive references. Additional supplemental readings and recommended resources are also provided. Key terms are bolded throughout each chapter indicating their inclusion in a master glossary toward the end of the text. Application of important concepts is promoted through end-of-chapter case study examples and guiding questions designed to enhance clinical decision making skills. Disability-focused chapters contain Evidence Summary Boxes that summarize and critically appraise research focused on a particular topic or intervention relevant to the chapter content. Our hope is that the boxes may provide a model for readers to continue to critically examine clinical practice using validated clinical methodologies. We also hope it will inspire enthusiasm about the importance of continuous, lifelong, self-directed learning.

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The visuals have been substantially enhanced with the addition of many new illustrations and photographs. Changes in design and the introduction of a full-color format provide a reader-friendly environment, as well as augment understanding of content. New to the sixth edition are 13 online case studies with accompanying video segments illustrating aspects of the initial examination, interventions, and outcomes for patients undergoing active rehabilitation. The cases were authored by practicing therapists from various parts of the country who were directly involved in the care of the case study patient participant. The case studies include patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and respiratory distress syndrome, burns, amputation, spinal cord injury, Parkinson's disease, traumatic brain injury, stroke, and vestibular dysfunction. Questions are posed that address key elements in developing the plan of care for each patient. All case study materials (patient history, examination data, video segments, answers to guiding questions for student feedback) are available online at DavisPlus.

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Also new to this edition are sample examination questions consistent with the format of the National Physical Therapy Examination. In separate files, answers to the questions are provided for student feedback that are also available at DavisPlus.

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As we have noted in previous editions, our greatest asset and inspiration in preparing the sixth edition of Physical Rehabilitation has been an outstanding group of contributing authors. We are most fortunate to have this group of talented individuals whose breadth and scope of professional knowledge and experience seems unparalleled. These individuals are recognized experts from a variety of specialty areas who have graciously shared their knowledge and clinical practice expertise by providing relevant, up-to-date, and practical information within their respective content areas. To our group of contributors, we enthusiastically welcome the many talented, dedicated clinicians whose knowledge and clinical skills are well represented in the online case study materials that accompany the text. To the sixth edition, a welcome is also extended to George D. Fulk as a new contributing editor.

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The sixth edition has also benefited from the input of numerous individuals engaged in both academic and clinical practice settings who have used and reviewed the content. We are grateful for their constructive feedback and have instituted many of their suggestions and changes. As always, we welcome suggestions for improvements from our colleagues and students.

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As physical therapists continue to take on more and greater professional responsibilities and challenges, the very nature of this text makes it a perpetual “work in progress.” We are grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the academic literature in physical therapy, as well as to the professional development of those preparing to enter a career devoted to improving the quality of life of those we serve.

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We acknowledge the very important contributions that physical therapists make in the lives of their patients. This book is dedicated to those therapists—past, present, and future—who guide and challenge their patients to lead a successful and independent life.

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—Susan B. O'Sullivan
  Thomas J. Schmitz
  George D. Fulk

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