THE HOME HOSPITAL: How the Family Can Cope with Catastrophic Illness by Lois Barclay Murphy

THE HOME HOSPITAL: How the Family Can Cope with Catastrophic Illness

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Lois Murphy, a noted psychologist herself, cared for her husband, the renowned Gardner Murphy, during his final illness (Parkinson's disease with complications); from that experience, she has developed a guide that is sometimes too general, sometimes too specific--but consistently effective in demonstrating, by reference to other families too, the wonders that determination and dedication can accomplish. Murphy's particular procedures may not be equally useful to others: she purchased a basic nursing text and a Merck Manual, for reference; established strong patient/caregiver roles (""when you take your patient's vital signs, tell him or her what pulse and blood pressure are; if they are unstable, add relevant information about how they can be stabilized""); and generally made her ""home hospital"" too hospital-like for many. Much of her information on basic care also evolved from her experience with a particular disease, and may be irrelevant or even bewildering to others. At the same time, her chapters on neurologic disease, cancer, and childhood illnesses are too brief and non-specific to be of much help. What is valuable is Murphy's overview of the factors involved: the decision for home care; setting up a home hospital; principles of care (a disproportionate stress on formal record-keeping--over the everyday mechanics); common problems (constipation, bedsores); getting, keeping, and evaluating professional help; and family and patient feelings. With her personal account, a comfort and a boost; for dally-management details, readers should consult Red Cross publications and the like.

Pub Date: Nov. 29th, 1982
Publisher: Basic Books