Books for Christmas: Well, actually a few reviews that may help you with that festive book choice!

By | 1st December 2017

Hi all,

now thanksgiving is over, the festive season approaches and many of us think of gifts and more. Part of this process is what to read, especially if you happen to live in a cold environment that can only be made better by some heat, festive cheer and a good book. Below you will find a couple of recent book reviews that may help you with your upcoming reading.


JICare Blog team


Teamwork, Leadership and Communication: Collaboration Basics for Health Professionals (Review by Uzma Williams, McMaster University, Canada)

Deborah Lake, Krista Baerg, & Teresa Paslawski
Canada: Brush Education, 2015
114 pages / ISBN 978-1-55059-640-3

Teamwork, Leadership and Communication is written by Deborah Lake, Krista Baerg and Teresa Paslawski to a description of successful interprofessional collaboration. A multidisciplinary authorship, consisting of a clinical psychologist, pediatrician, and speech language therapist, provides a concise yet comprehensive practical approach organized into five chapters and five detailed appendices.

The content of the book offers systematic techniques, along with foundational knowledge, to build skills for team collaboration focused within a health care setting. For example, the authors detail specific team structures and group tasks and maintenance behaviors to ensure successful collaboration. Another example is provided in detailing team responsibilities and boundaries, engagement and integrity, and assessment and evaluation. Finally, the main framework is summarized in graphically depicted in a chart for readers to use practically to enhance interprofessional practice. The framework summarizes three key components (teamwork, leadership, and communication) by interpersonal, organization and systematic contexts.

The five chapters consist of an introduction, teamwork, leadership, communication, and collaboration. The purpose of these chapters is to build foundational knowledge on the key concepts and components of interprofessional care. The contents of the chapters are filled with vignettes, key bullet points, exercises, and figures to illustrate the key concepts and points.

The five appendices provide concrete tools to practice skills and to build a conducive atmosphere and attitude to ensure the implementation of collaboration in a health care setting. The first appendix is a 6-point 21-item Likert-scale measure that can be administered to team members to understand the current attitude and work culture. The second appendix is a checklist that leaders can use to keep count of certain key behaviors as they occur during team activities. Similarly, the third appendix is also a checklist but checks for behaviors of active listening, such as leaning forward, keeping arms uncrossed, and demonstrating the appropriate facial expression. The fourth appendix is a structured group questionnaire. This questionnaire can assist with assessing successes, challenges and areas for improvement after a group meeting. The final appendix is another 6-point Likert-scale measure of 20-items intended for assessing a team members personal assessment of collaboration.

Overall, this book is a must read for leaders in health care primarily for the tangible framework, measures, and checklists. The appendices are a compliment to the first five chapters, and truly demonstrates why this book provides a practical approach to implementing interprofessional collaboration in health setting.


Interdisciplinary Discourse Communicating Across Disciplines (Review by Bronte Diduck, Department of Applied Psychology, Concordia University of Edmonton, Canada)

Seongsook Choi & Keith Richards. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017
300 pages, $99.00 / ISBN: 978-1- 137-47039-3

This book is appropriate for anyone seeking to implement interdisciplinary practice across a multidisciplinary team (rather than an interprofessional team). The authors, Choi and Richards, explain interdisciplinary discourse as well as provide the tenets of its practice. Findings are empirically evidenced, and inferences from research are justified. Terms and concepts employed within the book are explained and brought to the forefront through concrete examples. For instance, computer science, an intersection of mathematics and engineering is presented to introduce and demonstrate a basic understanding of interdisciplinarity. The book summarizes and bolsters some current and innovative ideas and also questions the accuracy of others. In-depth analyses of previous and advancing research are given; terms are well-defined using clear and general language, making this book thought-provoking to scholars and approachable to those outside of academia.

The book is organized into nine chapters, with two main focuses: an overview of interdisciplinarity and the findings of the research surrounding the subject. First, a historical survey of the origin of ‘the discipline’ presents foundational knowledge, providing the reader with a framework to integrate the information that follows. Second, interdisciplinarity is defined and exemplified from organizational, epistemological, cultural, moral, and political standpoints. Fundamental, yet influential challenges to interdisciplinary pursuits are examined throughout the book. Additionally, various elements that can be used to identify and assess interdisciplinarity are reviewed. A comprehensive overview encompassing Anglo-American, and French and German perspectives gives the reader a well-rounded sense of interdisciplinarity. References to many established thinkers in the interprofessional field are made and expanded upon significantly, revealing powerful yet often overlooked nuances, including linguistic and epistemic barriers. Discourse analysis explicates the nature of interdisciplinary interaction, highlighting the paramount importance of communication in order for effective collaboration. There is a very detailed summary analysis which engenders a heavier read at times, however, this substantiates many observations drawn by the authors.

The authors have masterfully integrated a number of transcripts of actual conversations within the context of various different project groups. These extracts serve to demonstrate the linguistic and epistemic disciplinary divides between, per se, biologists who run the experiments in the lab, and statisticians who analyze the data. The book identifies contributing forces imperative to the proliferation of interdisciplinarity, such as new lines of research that require a wider approach, such as nanotechnology, and societal challenges such as HIV/AIDS.

Overall, Choi and Richards have offered advice and perspective that would be particularly useful to anyone involved in research, education, or leadership roles. Theoretical insights to guide future research, as well as relevant practical implementations for practice offer practitioners the opportunity to expand their purview.