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Did an Unorthodox Therapist Drive a Woman to Suicide?

“Case Study,” by Graeme Macrae Burnet, is a novel of found documents detailing troubled lives and shifting identities.

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By Christian Lorentzen

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CASE STUDY, by Graeme Macrae Burnet

To get to Primrose Hill from central London, you take the Tube to Chalk Farm Station, exit to your right toward a cafe and an off-license, and climb a path to an overpass above train tracks. The path is called, rather unassumingly, Bridge Approach, and a five-minute walk leads to Primrose Hill. I happened to live in these parts for three years, and I crossed the overpass twice a day most days. Just to the south is the Pembroke Castle pub, where Liam Gallagher of Oasis was once arrested, in 1998. Another neighborhood tippler, Kingsley Amis, favored the Queen’s at the corner of St. George’s Terrace, according to his biographer Zachary Leader, who printed his monthly tab. From my balcony I could see the phone box where Sylvia Plath would desperately call Ted Hughes at his lover’s flat in her last days. It is a quiet neighborhood, but one dense with intrigue and peopled by famous, messy and tortured artistic personages.

The events of Graeme Macrae Burnet’s fourth novel, “Case Study,” are set off by a suicide in the 1960s by a young woman named Veronica, who jumps from the Bridge Approach overpass and is struck by the 4:45 train to High Barnet. (I am not sure that High Barnet trains, rather than Edgware-bound ones, run on this track, nor that the overpass itself, rather than just the path that approaches it, is called Bridge Approach, but these are the sorts of possible slight inaccuracies that Burnet and his not entirely reliable narrators relish.) An investigation into Veronica’s death and the man who might have been responsible for it — her therapist, Arthur Collins Braithwaite, whose office is on Primrose Hill — forms the substance of the narrative. Like Burnet’s previous novel, “ His Bloody Project ” (2016), “Case Study” was nominated for the Booker Prize and consists largely of purportedly found documents.

The would-be Miss Marple of Burnet’s loopy detective story is Veronica’s unnamed younger sister, who, under the alias Rebecca Smyth, becomes Braithwaite’s patient to find out if he drove Veronica to take her own life. Rebecca details her five sessions in notebooks that decades later end up in the hands of a writer named GMB, our frame narrator, who is researching Braithwaite for a potential biography. Now cast into obscurity, the (fictional) therapist was once a figure of note, appearing on BBC chat shows and publishing the books “Untherapy,” a best seller, and “Kill Your Self,” which Rebecca calls “a jumble of incomprehensible sentences, each having no discernible relationship to its neighbors.” Still, we are told by GMB, “Kill Your Self” “captured the zeitgeist,” acquired for its author a cult following from which he drew a lucrative pool of patients, and “if anything, the impenetrability of certain passages only served to confirm the author’s genius.”

“Case Study” consists of a preface, in which GMB explains how he received the notebooks (from Rebecca’s cousin, who noticed a blog post by GMB on Braithwaite); the five notebooks themselves, one of which includes a chapter clipped from “Untherapy” about a patient who is clearly Veronica; five biographical chapters about Braithwaite by GMB, inserted between the notebooks; and a postscript, in which GMB ventures south to pay a visit to the Pembroke Castle. The elegant nested structure is one of the novel’s chief appeals. So is the contrast between Rebecca’s narrative voice, characterized by what GMB calls “a certain kooky élan,” and the cool tone of GMB’s Life of Braithwaite. What emerges is a comedy of identities tried on and discarded. Given the number of suicides that mark the story, it’s a comedy with dark underpinnings.

Rebecca lives with her father, a retired engineer, and their housekeeper, and works as a receptionist for a talent agent. Her mother died when she was 15, falling off a cliff before her eyes, during a family holiday in Devon. Given that Rebecca is the only witness to the fall, and that she admits to fantasizing about pushing someone off the cliff the sentence before recounting her mother’s death, we can’t help suspecting that she might have done it herself. But we have no more reason to doubt it than the rest of her story, and that’s part of the fun: The whole tale might be a hoax.

Unlike Veronica, who was a doctoral student in mathematics at Cambridge, Rebecca is not very ambitious. She’s an erstwhile fiction writer, having given up on writing after the one story she published in Women’s Journal didn’t have editors banging down the door for more. She is a homebody, happy to tend to her father and not be a “Modern Independent Woman.” She attests to being a virgin, and so becoming Rebecca Smyth means becoming someone else: the sort of woman who puts on lipstick, attends glamorous parties and drinks gin with gentlemen at the Pembridge Castle (as she calls the Pembroke Castle). Since she is not really that sort of woman, drinking even a little gin causes her to vomit in the bathroom the first time she tries it.

Braithwaite is also someone who puts on new identities, but at the same time he’s a recognizable English type: the humble boy from northern England who goes down to Oxford after the war and reinvents himself as a kind of romantic rogue. “Case Study” has a lot in common with the novels of Vladimir Nabokov and Roberto Bolaño, in which invented characters pass through tumultuous episodes of literary history that never quite happened, though it seems as if they should have. Braithwaite brushes against real-life figures, engaging in hostile correspondence with the psychiatrist R.D. Laing and becoming a confidant of the actor Dirk Bogarde. After an overblown scandal consumes his therapeutic practice and sets him off on a bender, he winds up back at the home of his father (another suicide) in the North, where he writes his unpublished memoir, “My Self and Other Strangers.” It is the source, we are told, of GMB’s biographical reconstructions.

“Case Study” is a diverting novel, overflowing with clever plays on and inversions of tropes of English intellectual and social life during the postwar decades. As such, it is not exactly an excursion into undiscovered literary terrain. Reading Burnet’s doubly mediated metafiction of North London neurotics and decadents, I often longed to turn back to the shelf for the real thing: fictions by Doris Lessing, Kingsley and Martin Amis, Muriel Spark, Jenny Diski, Julian Barnes, Alan Hollinghurst, Zadie Smith or Rachel Cusk; biographies of Plath and Hughes; films of kitchen-sink realism starring Bogarde and Laurence Harvey, with scripts by Harold Pinter; or even the documentaries of Adam Curtis, in which Laing often makes a cameo. It’s a compliment to put “Case Study” in that company and no insult to say that Burnet must have done his homework to get there. I imagine he lives in a flat full of piles of yellowing copies of The Times Literary Supplement, every issue a catalog of obscurities from across time. Humble children from the provinces who want to reinvent themselves have to get the stuff of their daydreams from somewhere.

Christian Lorentzen’s work has appeared in The London Review of Books, Bookforum and Harper’s Magazine.

CASE STUDY | By Graeme Macrae Burnet | 278 pp. | Biblioasis | Paperback, $17.95

An earlier version of this review misstated R.D. Laing’s profession. He was a psychiatrist, not a psychologist.

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Case Study by Graeme Macrae Burnet review – unstable identities

This wry look at 1960s counterculture focuses on an enfant terrible of the anti-psychiatry movement to explore the gaps between appearance and reality

T he Booker-shortlisted 2015 novel His Bloody Project employed a range of narrative techniques to prod at the truth surrounding a murder in a 19th-century Scottish crofting community. Graeme Macrae Burnet’s concern was not so much with who committed the crime – we know that from the outset – but with the moral ambiguity inherent in assigning blame. His new novel, Case Study, is different in tone, though an interest in exploring complex psychological dramas through intricate narrative structures takes centre stage once again.

One of the key voices in His Bloody Project belongs to the prison doctor, charged with determining whether the accused is mentally fit to stand trial. The narrative spotlight in Case Study is focused on psychiatry itself, and how those who practise it are not always best qualified to pass judgment on the sanity or otherwise of those they purport to treat. The novel presents itself as the work of one “GMB”, a writer who has become interested in Collins Braithwaite, enfant terrible of the 1960s anti-psychiatry movement. After stumbling on Braithwaite’s “salacious, iconoclastic and compelling” collection of case studies, Untherapy, in a Glasgow bookshop, GMB toys with the idea of writing his biography. Although the plan meets with little enthusiasm from his agent and publisher, GMB’s fascination with Braithwaite is redoubled when he is contacted by a Mr Martin Grey, offering him six notebooks containing the journal of his cousin, whom Grey claims was a patient of Braithwaite. The notebooks contain “certain allegations” he is sure GMB will find of interest.

The notebooks are presented in full, interspersed with GMB’s biographical commentary. After giving up his studies at Oxford, Braithwaite spends a brief period working under RD Laing before pursuing his own more unorthodox path, later accusing his mentor of stealing his ideas. Railing against Laing’s success and unearned celebrity, Braithwaite sets himself up in practice near Primrose Hill, north London, an enterprise that seems doomed to failure until a chance encounter with Dirk Bogarde brings him an ever-expanding roster of celebrity clients. Braithwaite’s success is not to last, however, as his increasingly outrageous behaviour and monstrous egotism put him on a collision course with the law.

The six “Grey” notebooks offer the first-person account of an unnamed narrator, a young woman from a comfortable middle-class background whose older sister, Veronica, has recently killed herself. She believes the ultimate blame for Veronica’s death must lie with her psychotherapist, notorious “quack” Collins Braithwaite. Under the name Rebecca Smyth, the young woman books herself a consultation with Braithwaite, determined to discover the truth.

In his preface to the main text, GMB puts forward certain minor inaccuracies in the notebooks as grounds for questioning their authenticity, and as readers we would be advised to be equally suspicious. Those already familiar with Burnet’s writing have met GMB before, not only as the writer and researcher who claims distant kinship with the teenage murderer Roddy Macrae in His Bloody Project, but also as the translator of Burnet’s two “Raymond Brunet” crime novels. The defining essence of Burnet’s work to date is to be found in this kind of literary gamesmanship, a brand of metatextuality that is as much about exploiting the possibilities of the novel form as it is about blurring the boundaries between appearance and reality. In throwing us into doubt about which – and more crucially whose – story we are supposed to be following, Burnet encourages us to look more closely at the inherent instability of fiction itself. The painstakingly assembled, predominantly mimetic fiction of the 19th century has trained us to trust the author; Burnet has always delighted in undermining such easy assumptions, and in Case Study he ups the stakes still further, providing a veritable layer cake of possible realities to get lost in.

“Rebecca Smyth” tells us that in her sessions with Braithwaite he constantly questions her account of things, accusing her not only of inventing whole tracts of her past, but presenting him with an identity that is itself a construction. We know that in this at least Braithwaite is right, but with only the fictitious GMB’s word to go on that Braithwaite exists, it would be foolish for us to trust his suggestions or his analysis. The harder we tug on Burnet’s narrative threads, the more Veronica, her sister, and even Braithwaite himself start to look like different aspects of an unsteady unity.

In his rendering of the six notebooks, Burnet has cited the copious amounts of research he has undertaken, looking to the women’s magazines and journals of the 1950s and 60s in search of authenticity. While such publications might well reflect the moral tone and societal attitudes of the time, they are not necessarily an accurate representation of how young women in postwar England thought and felt. If we take the notebooks at face value, their shallowness and internalised misogyny quickly become irritating as well as unconvincing. If we choose to see them as satire, as part of the novel’s plot in a larger sense, they become something rather different.

As the notebooks progress, their unnamed narrator becomes ever more confused about her own identity. In wishing she was more like her invented alter ego, she begins to see Rebecca almost literally as a separate person, an uncanny simulacrum who can usurp her position and control her behaviour. In the biographical segments, GMB augments this with some interesting discursions on doubles in literature and Braithwaite’s Kierkegaard-inflected theories on the self. As the notebooks’ narrator slides further towards dissociation and depression, Case Study finally becomes a genuinely affecting discourse on mental health, the gulf between societal expectations and inward reality.

In pointed contrast to the gritty true-crime ambience of His Bloody Project, Case Study is above all a very funny book, a wry look back at 60s counterculture in which Burnet’s inventions rub shoulders with real personalities. But much as Braithwaite’s outlandish behaviour and performative rudeness might raise a knowing smile, his theories on identity and selfhood, appearance and reality are never as bonkers as we pretend they are. If Burnet’s aim in writing Case Study was to force us up against the contradictions of our conflicted selves, he has surely succeeded. This is a novel that is entertaining and mindfully engrossing in equal measure.

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Case studies: books.

Search library catalog  for case studies by doing a keyword search for "case studies" (in quotes) with another keyword. To browse by subject heading, construct your subject heading as (subject) -- case studies. Examples of subject headings include strategic planning -- case studies, management -- case studies, entrepreneurship -- case studies, high technology industries -- case studies, internet marketing -- case studies, etc.

There are over 3000 books with case studies in the library catalog. Selected titles include:

International Business Case Studies (selected titles):

Search library catalog  for subject:  International business enterprises -- Case studies

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  • Leading Culture Change in Global Organizations by Daniel Denison; Robert Hooijberg; Colleen Leif; Nancy Lane; Colleen Lief ISBN: 9781118221242 Publication Date: 2012-06-01 Filled with case studies from firms such as GT Automotive, GE Healthcare China, Vale, Dominos, Swiss Re Americas Division, and Polar Bank, among others, this book (written by Dan Denison and his co-authors) combines twenty years of research and survey results to illustrate a critical set of cultural dynamics that firms need to manage in order to remain competitive. Each chapter uses a case as a means to illustrate an important aspect of culture change focusing on seven common culture-change dilemmas including creating a strategic alignment, keeping strategy simple, and more.

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Strategic Management Case Studies (selected titles):

Search library catalog for subject:  Strategic planning -- Case studies .

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Business cases can be found through a number of books and ebooks in our collection. To locate these items, go to BU Libraries Search and enter terms such as:

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Case study definition

case study book

Case study, a term which some of you may know from the "Case Study of Vanitas" anime and manga, is a thorough examination of a particular subject, such as a person, group, location, occasion, establishment, phenomena, etc. They are most frequently utilized in research of business, medicine, education and social behaviour. There are a different types of case studies that researchers might use:

• Collective case studies

• Descriptive case studies

• Explanatory case studies

• Exploratory case studies

• Instrumental case studies

• Intrinsic case studies

Case studies are usually much more sophisticated and professional than regular essays and courseworks, as they require a lot of verified data, are research-oriented and not necessarily designed to be read by the general public.

How to write a case study?

It very much depends on the topic of your case study, as a medical case study and a coffee business case study have completely different sources, outlines, target demographics, etc. But just for this example, let's outline a coffee roaster case study. Firstly, it's likely going to be a problem-solving case study, like most in the business and economics field are. Here are some tips for these types of case studies:

• Your case scenario should be precisely defined in terms of your unique assessment criteria.

• Determine the primary issues by analyzing the scenario. Think about how they connect to the main ideas and theories in your piece.

• Find and investigate any theories or methods that might be relevant to your case.

• Keep your audience in mind. Exactly who are your stakeholder(s)? If writing a case study on coffee roasters, it's probably gonna be suppliers, landlords, investors, customers, etc.

• Indicate the best solution(s) and how they should be implemented. Make sure your suggestions are grounded in pertinent theories and useful resources, as well as being realistic, practical, and attainable.

• Carefully proofread your case study. Keep in mind these four principles when editing: clarity, honesty, reality and relevance.

Are there any online services that could write a case study for me?

Luckily, there are!

We completely understand and have been ourselves in a position, where we couldn't wrap our head around how to write an effective and useful case study, but don't fear - our service is here.

We are a group that specializes in writing all kinds of case studies and other projects for academic customers and business clients who require assistance with its creation. We require our writers to have a degree in your topic and carefully interview them before they can join our team, as we try to ensure quality above all. We cover a great range of topics, offer perfect quality work, always deliver on time and aim to leave our customers completely satisfied with what they ordered.

The ordering process is fully online, and it goes as follows:

• Select the topic and the deadline of your case study.

• Provide us with any details, requirements, statements that should be emphasized or particular parts of the writing process you struggle with.

• Leave the email address, where your completed order will be sent to.

• Select your payment type, sit back and relax!

With lots of experience on the market, professionally degreed writers, online 24/7 customer support and incredibly low prices, you won't find a service offering a better deal than ours.

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Health Case Studies

(29 reviews)

case study book

Glynda Rees, British Columbia Institute of Technology

Rob Kruger, British Columbia Institute of Technology

Janet Morrison, British Columbia Institute of Technology

Copyright Year: 2017

Publisher: BCcampus

Language: English

Formats Available

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Reviewed by Jessica Sellars, Medical assistant office instructor, Blue Mountain Community College on 10/11/23

This is a book of compiled and very well organized patient case studies. The author has broken it up by disease patient was experiencing and even the healthcare roles that took place in this patients care. There is a well thought out direction and... read more

Comprehensiveness rating: 5 see less

This is a book of compiled and very well organized patient case studies. The author has broken it up by disease patient was experiencing and even the healthcare roles that took place in this patients care. There is a well thought out direction and plan. There is an appendix to refer to as well if you are needing to find something specific quickly. I have been looking for something like this to help my students have a base to do their project on. This is the most comprehensive version I have found on the subject.

Content Accuracy rating: 5

This is a book compiled of medical case studies. It is very accurate and can be used to learn from great care and mistakes.

Relevance/Longevity rating: 5

This material is very relevant in this context. It also has plenty of individual case studies to utilize in many ways in all sorts of medical courses. This is a very useful textbook and it will continue to be useful for a very long time as you can still learn from each study even if medicine changes through out the years.

Clarity rating: 5

The author put a lot of thought into the ease of accessibility and reading level of the target audience. There is even a "how to use this resource" section which could be extremely useful to students.

Consistency rating: 5

The text follows a very consistent format throughout the book.

Modularity rating: 5

Each case study is individual broken up and in a group of similar case studies. This makes it extremely easy to utilize.

Organization/Structure/Flow rating: 5

The book is very organized and the appendix is through. It flows seamlessly through each case study.

Interface rating: 5

I had no issues navigating this book, It was clearly labeled and very easy to move around in.

Grammatical Errors rating: 5

I did not catch any grammar errors as I was going through the book

Cultural Relevance rating: 5

This is a challenging question for any medical textbook. It is very culturally relevant to those in medical or medical office degrees.

I have been looking for something like this for years. I am so happy to have finally found it.

Reviewed by Cindy Sun, Assistant Professor, Marshall University on 1/7/23

Interestingly, this is not a case of ‘you get what you pay for’. Instead, not only are the case studies organized in a fashion for ease of use through a detailed table of contents, the authors have included more support for both faculty and... read more

Interestingly, this is not a case of ‘you get what you pay for’. Instead, not only are the case studies organized in a fashion for ease of use through a detailed table of contents, the authors have included more support for both faculty and students. For faculty, the introduction section titled ‘How to use this resource’ and individual notes to educators before each case study contain application tips. An appendix overview lists key elements as issues / concepts, scenario context, and healthcare roles for each case study. For students, learning objectives are presented at the beginning of each case study to provide a framework of expectations.

The content is presented accurately and realistic.

The case studies read similar to ‘A Day In the Life of…’ with detailed intraprofessional communications similar to what would be overheard in patient care areas. The authors present not only the view of the patient care nurse, but also weave interprofessional vantage points through each case study by including patient interaction with individual professionals such as radiology, physician, etc.

In addition to objective assessment findings, the authors integrate standard orders for each diagnosis including medications, treatments, and tests allowing the student to incorporate pathophysiology components to their assessments.

Each case study is arranged in the same framework for consistency and ease of use.

This compilation of eight healthcare case studies focusing on new onset and exacerbation of prevalent diagnoses, such as heart failure, deep vein thrombosis, cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease advancing to pneumonia.

Each case study has a photo of the ‘patient’. Simple as this may seem, it gives an immediate mental image for the student to focus.

Interface rating: 4

As noted by previous reviewers, most of the links do not connect active web pages. This may be due to the multiple options for accessing this resource (pdf download, pdf electronic, web view, etc.).

Grammatical Errors rating: 4

A minor weakness that faculty will probably need to address prior to use is regarding specific term usages differences between Commonwealth countries and United States, such as lung sound descriptors as ‘quiet’ in place of ‘diminished’ and ‘puffers’ in place of ‘inhalers’.

The authors have provided a multicultural, multigenerational approach in selection of patient characteristics representing a snapshot of today’s patient population. Additionally, one case study focusing on heart failure is about a middle-aged adult, contrasting to the average aged patient the students would normally see during clinical rotations. This option provides opportunities for students to expand their knowledge on risk factors extending beyond age.

This resource is applicable to nursing students learning to care for patients with the specific disease processes presented in each case study or for the leadership students focusing on intraprofessional communication. Educators can assign as a supplement to clinical experiences or as an in-class application of knowledge.

Reviewed by Stephanie Sideras, Assistant Professor, University of Portland on 8/15/22

The eight case studies included in this text addressed high frequency health alterations that all nurses need to be able to manage competently. While diabetes was not highlighted directly, it was included as a potential comorbidity. The five... read more

The eight case studies included in this text addressed high frequency health alterations that all nurses need to be able to manage competently. While diabetes was not highlighted directly, it was included as a potential comorbidity. The five overarching learning objectives pulled from the Institute of Medicine core competencies will clearly resonate with any faculty familiar with Quality and Safety Education for Nurses curriculum.

The presentation of symptoms, treatments and management of the health alterations was accurate. Dialogue between the the interprofessional team was realistic. At times the formatting of lab results was confusing as they reflected reference ranges specific to the Canadian healthcare system but these occurrences were minimal and could be easily adapted.

The focus for learning from these case studies was communication - patient centered communication and interprofessional team communication. Specific details, such as drug dosing, was minimized, which increases longevity and allows for easy individualization of the case data.

While some vocabulary was specific to the Canadian healthcare system, overall the narrative was extremely engaging and easy to follow. Subjective case data from patient or provider were formatted in italics and identified as 'thoughts'. Objective and behavioral case data were smoothly integrated into the narrative.

The consistency of formatting across the eight cases was remarkable. Specific learning objectives are identified for each case and these remain consistent across the range of cases, varying only in the focus for the goals for each different health alterations. Each case begins with presentation of essential patient background and the progress across the trajectory of illness as the patient moves from location to location encountering different healthcare professionals. Many of the characters (the triage nurse in the Emergency Department, the phlebotomist) are consistent across the case situations. These consistencies facilitate both application of a variety of teaching methods and student engagement with the situated learning approach.

Case data is presented by location and begins with the patient's first encounter with the healthcare system. This allows for an examination of how specific trajectories of illness are manifested and how care management needs to be prioritized at different stages. This approach supports discussions of care transitions and the complexity of the associated interprofessional communication.

The text is well organized. The case that has two levels of complexity is clearly identified

The internal links between the table of contents and case specific locations work consistently. In the EPUB and the Digital PDF the external hyperlinks are inconsistently valid.

The grammatical errors were minimal and did not detract from readability

Cultural diversity is present across the cases in factors including race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, family dynamics and sexual orientation.

The level of detail included in these cases supports a teaching approach to address all three spectrums of learning - knowledge, skills and attitudes - necessary for the development of competent practice. I also appreciate the inclusion of specific assessment instruments that would facilitate a discussion of evidence based practice. I will enjoy using these case to promote clinical reasoning discussions of data that is noticed and interpreted with the resulting prioritizes that are set followed by reflections that result from learner choices.

Reviewed by Chris Roman, Associate Professor, Butler University on 5/19/22

It would be extremely difficult for a book of clinical cases to comprehensively cover all of medicine, and this text does not try. Rather, it provides cases related to common medical problems and introduces them in a way that allows for various... read more

Comprehensiveness rating: 4 see less

It would be extremely difficult for a book of clinical cases to comprehensively cover all of medicine, and this text does not try. Rather, it provides cases related to common medical problems and introduces them in a way that allows for various learning strategies to be employed to leverage the cases for deeper student learning and application.

The narrative form of the cases is less subject to issues of accuracy than a more content-based book would be. That said, the cases are realistic and reasonable, avoiding being too mundane or too extreme.

These cases are narrative and do not include many specific mentions of drugs, dosages, or other aspects of clinical care that may grow/evolve as guidelines change. For this reason, the cases should be “evergreen” and can be modified to suit different types of learners.

Clarity rating: 4

The text is written in very accessible language and avoids heavy use of technical language. Depending on the level of learner, this might even be too simplistic and omit some details that would be needed for physicians, pharmacists, and others to make nuanced care decisions.

The format is very consistent with clear labeling at transition points.

The authors point out in the introductory materials that this text is designed to be used in a modular fashion. Further, they have built in opportunities to customize each cases, such as giving dates of birth at “19xx” to allow for adjustments based on instructional objectives, etc.

The organization is very easy to follow.

I did not identify any issues in navigating the text.

The text contains no grammatical errors, though the language is a little stiff/unrealistic in some cases.

Cases involve patients and members of the care team that are of varying ages, genders, and racial/ethnic backgrounds

Reviewed by Trina Larery, Assistant Professor, Pittsburg State University on 4/5/22

The book covers common scenarios, providing allied health students insight into common health issues. The information in the book is thorough and easily modified if needed to include other scenarios not listed. The material was easy to understand... read more

The book covers common scenarios, providing allied health students insight into common health issues. The information in the book is thorough and easily modified if needed to include other scenarios not listed. The material was easy to understand and apply to the classroom. The E-reader format included hyperlinks that bring the students to subsequent clinical studies.

Content Accuracy rating: 4

The treatments were explained and rationales were given, which can be very helpful to facilitate effective learning for a nursing student or novice nurse. The case studies were accurate in explanation. The DVT case study incorrectly identifies the location of the clot in the popliteal artery instead of in the vein.

The content is relevant to a variety of different types of health care providers and due to the general nature of the cases, will remain relevant over time. Updates should be made annually to the hyperlinks and to assure current standard of practice is still being met.

Clear, simple and easy to read.

Consistent with healthcare terminology and framework throughout all eight case studies.

The text is modular. Cases can be used individually within a unit on the given disease process or relevant sections of a case could be used to illustrate a specific point providing great flexibility. The appendix is helpful in locating content specific to a certain diagnosis or a certain type of health care provider.

The book is well organized, presenting in a logical clear fashion. The appendix allows the student to move about the case study without difficulty.

The interface is easy and simple to navigate. Some links to external sources might need to be updated regularly since those links are subject to change based on current guidelines. A few hyperlinks had "page not found".

Few grammatical errors were noted in text.

The case studies include people of different ethnicities, socioeconomic status, ages, and genders to make this a very useful book.

I enjoyed reading the text. It was interesting and relevant to today's nursing student. There are roughly 25 broken online links or "pages not found", care needs to be taken to update at least annually and assure links are valid and utilizing the most up to date information.

Reviewed by Benjamin Silverberg, Associate Professor/Clinician, West Virginia University on 3/24/22

The appendix reviews the "key roles" and medical venues found in all 8 cases, but is fairly spartan on medical content. The table of contents at the beginning only lists the cases and locations of care. It can be a little tricky to figure out what... read more

Comprehensiveness rating: 3 see less

The appendix reviews the "key roles" and medical venues found in all 8 cases, but is fairly spartan on medical content. The table of contents at the beginning only lists the cases and locations of care. It can be a little tricky to figure out what is going on where, especially since each case is largely conversation-based. Since this presents 8 cases (really 7 with one being expanded upon), there are many medical topics (and venues) that are not included. It's impossible to include every kind of situation, but I'd love to see inclusion of sexual health, renal pathology, substance abuse, etc.

Though there are differences in how care can be delivered based on personal style, changing guidelines, available supplies, etc, the medical accuracy seems to be high. I did not detect bias or industry influence.

Relevance/Longevity rating: 4

Medications are generally listed as generics, with at least current dosing recommendations. The text gives a picture of what care looks like currently, but will be a little challenging to update based on new guidelines (ie, it can be hard to find the exact page in which a medication is dosed/prescribed). Even if the text were to be a little out of date, an instructor can use that to point out what has changed (and why).

Clear text, usually with definitions of medical slang or higher-tier vocabulary. Minimal jargon and there are instances where the "characters" are sorting out the meaning as well, making it accessible for new learners, too.

Overall, the style is consistent between cases - largely broken up into scenes and driven by conversation rather than descriptions of what is happening.

There are 8 (well, again, 7) cases which can be reviewed in any order. Case #2 builds upon #1, which is intentional and a good idea, though personally I would have preferred one case to have different possible outcomes or even a recurrence of illness. Each scene within a case is reasonably short.

Organization/Structure/Flow rating: 4

These cases are modular and don't really build on concepts throughout. As previously stated, case #2 builds upon #1, but beyond that, there is no progression. (To be sure, the authors suggest using case #1 for newer learners and #2 for more advanced ones.) The text would benefit from thematic grouping, a longer introduction and debriefing for each case (there are learning objectives but no real context in medical education nor questions to reflect on what was just read), and progressively-increasing difficulty in medical complexity, ethics, etc.

I used the PDF version and had no interface issues. There are minimal photographs and charts. Some words are marked in blue but those did not seem to be hyperlinked anywhere.

No noticeable errors in grammar, spelling, or formatting were noted.

I appreciate that some diversity of age and ethnicity were offered, but this could be improved. There were Canadian Indian and First Nations patients, for example, as well as other characters with implied diversity, but there didn't seem to be any mention of gender diverse or non-heterosexual people, or disabilities. The cases tried to paint family scenes (the first patient's dog was fairly prominently mentioned) to humanize them. Including more cases would allow for more opportunities to include sex/gender minorities, (hidden) disabilities, etc.

The text (originally from 2017) could use an update. It could be used in conjunction with other Open Texts, as a compliment to other coursework, or purely by itself. The focus is meant to be on improving communication, but there are only 3 short pages at the beginning of the text considering those issues (which are really just learning objectives). In addition to adding more cases and further diversity, I personally would love to see more discussion before and after the case to guide readers (and/or instructors). I also wonder if some of the ambiguity could be improved by suggesting possible health outcomes - this kind of counterfactual comparison isn't possible in real life and could be really interesting in a text. Addition of comprehension/discussion questions would also be worthwhile.

Reviewed by Danielle Peterson, Assistant Professor, University of Saint Francis on 12/31/21

This text provides readers with 8 case studies which include both chronic and acute healthcare issues. Although not comprehensive in regard to types of healthcare conditions, it provides a thorough look at the communication between healthcare... read more

This text provides readers with 8 case studies which include both chronic and acute healthcare issues. Although not comprehensive in regard to types of healthcare conditions, it provides a thorough look at the communication between healthcare workers in acute hospital settings. The cases are primarily set in the inpatient hospital setting, so the bulk of the clinical information is basic emergency care and inpatient protocol: vitals, breathing, medication management, etc. The text provides a table of contents at opening of the text and a handy appendix at the conclusion of the text that outlines each case’s issue(s), scenario, and healthcare roles. No index or glossary present.

Although easy to update, it should be noted that the cases are taking place in a Canadian healthcare system. Terms may be unfamiliar to some students including “province,” “operating theatre,” “physio/physiotherapy,” and “porter.” Units of measurement used include Celsius and meters. Also, the issue of managed care, health insurance coverage, and length of stay is missing for American students. These are primary issues that dictate much of the healthcare system in the US and a primary job function of social workers, nurse case managers, and medical professionals in general. However, instructors that wish to add this to the case studies could do so easily.

The focus of this text is on healthcare communication which makes it less likely to become obsolete. Much of the clinical information is stable healthcare practice that has been standard of care for quite some time. Nevertheless, given the nature of text, updates would be easy to make. Hyperlinks should be updated to the most relevant and trustworthy sources and checked frequently for effectiveness.

The spacing that was used to note change of speaker made for ease of reading. Although unembellished and plain, I expect students to find this format easy to digest and interesting, especially since the script is appropriately balanced with ‘human’ qualities like the current TV shows and songs, the use of humor, and nonverbal cues.

A welcome characteristic of this text is its consistency. Each case is presented in a similar fashion and the roles of the healthcare team are ‘played’ by the same character in each of the scenarios. This allows students to see how healthcare providers prioritize cases and juggle the needs of multiple patients at once. Across scenarios, there was inconsistency in when clinical terms were hyperlinked.

The text is easily divisible into smaller reading sections. However, since the nature of the text is script-narrative format, if significant reorganization occurs, one will need to make sure that the communication of the script still makes sense.

The text is straightforward and presented in a consistent fashion: learning objectives, case history, a script of what happened before the patient enters the healthcare setting, and a script of what happens once the patient arrives at the healthcare setting. The authors use the term, “ideal interactions,” and I would agree that these cases are in large part, ‘best case scenarios.’ Due to this, the case studies are well organized, clear, logical, and predictable. However, depending on the level of student, instructors may want to introduce complications that are typical in the hospital setting.

The interface is pleasing and straightforward. With exception to the case summary and learning objectives, the cases are in narrative, script format. Each case study supplies a photo of the ‘patient’ and one of the case studies includes a link to a 3-minute video that introduces the reader to the patient/case. One of the highlights of this text is the use of hyperlinks to various clinical practices (ABG, vital signs, transfer of patient). Unfortunately, a majority of the links are broken. However, since this is an open text, instructors can update the links to their preference.

Although not free from grammatical errors, those that were noticed were minimal and did not detract from reading.

Cultural Relevance rating: 4

Cultural diversity is visible throughout the patients used in the case studies and includes factors such as age, race, socioeconomic status, family dynamics, and sexual orientation. A moderate level of diversity is noted in the healthcare team with some stereotypes: social workers being female, doctors primarily male.

As a social work instructor, I was grateful to find a text that incorporates this important healthcare role. I would have liked to have seen more content related to advance directives, mediating decision making between the patient and care team, emotional and practical support related to initial diagnosis and discharge planning, and provision of support to colleagues, all typical roles of a medical social worker. I also found it interesting that even though social work was included in multiple scenarios, the role was only introduced on the learning objectives page for the oncology case.

case study book

Reviewed by Crystal Wynn, Associate Professor, Virginia State University on 7/21/21

The text covers a variety of chronic diseases within the cases; however, not all of the common disease states were included within the text. More chronic diseases need to be included such as diabetes, cancer, and renal failure. Not all allied... read more

The text covers a variety of chronic diseases within the cases; however, not all of the common disease states were included within the text. More chronic diseases need to be included such as diabetes, cancer, and renal failure. Not all allied health care team members are represented within the case study. Key terms appear throughout the case study textbook and readers are able to click on a hyperlink which directs them to the definition and an explanation of the key term.

Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased.

The content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement.

The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used

The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework.

The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course. Each case can be divided into a chronic disease state unit, which will allow the reader to focus on one section at a time.

Organization/Structure/Flow rating: 3

The topics in the text are presented in a logical manner. Each case provides an excessive amount of language that provides a description of the case. The cases in this text reads more like a novel versus a clinical textbook. The learning objectives listed within each case should be in the form of questions or activities that could be provided as resources for instructors and teachers.

Interface rating: 3

There are several hyperlinks embedded within the textbook that are not functional.

The text contains no grammatical errors.

Cultural Relevance rating: 3

The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. More examples of cultural inclusiveness is needed throughout the textbook. The cases should be indicative of individuals from a variety of races and ethnicities.

Reviewed by Rebecca Hillary, Biology Instructor, Portland Community College on 6/15/21

This textbook consists of a collection of clinical case studies that can be applicable to a wide range of learning environments from supplementing an undergraduate Anatomy and Physiology Course, to including as part of a Medical or other health... read more

This textbook consists of a collection of clinical case studies that can be applicable to a wide range of learning environments from supplementing an undergraduate Anatomy and Physiology Course, to including as part of a Medical or other health care program. I read the textbook in E-reader format and this includes hyperlinks that bring the students to subsequent clinical study if the book is being used in a clinical classroom. This book is significantly more comprehensive in its approach from other case studies I have read because it provides a bird’s eye view of the many clinicians, technicians, and hospital staff working with one patient. The book also provides real time measurements for patients that change as they travel throughout the hospital until time of discharge.

Each case gave an accurate sense of the chaos that would be present in an emergency situation and show how the conditions affect the practitioners as well as the patients. The reader gets an accurate big picture--a feel for each practitioner’s point of view as well as the point of view of the patient and the patient’s family as the clock ticks down and the patients are subjected to a number of procedures. The clinical information contained in this textbook is all in hyperlinks containing references to clinical skills open text sources or medical websites. I did find one broken link on an external medical resource.

The diseases presented are relevant and will remain so. Some of the links are directly related to the Canadian Medical system so they may not be applicable to those living in other regions. Clinical links may change over time but the text itself will remain relevant.

Each case study clearly presents clinical data as is it recorded in real time.

Each case study provides the point of view of several practitioners and the patient over several days. While each of the case studies covers different pathology they all follow this same format, several points of view and data points, over a number of days.

The case studies are divided by days and this was easy to navigate as a reader. It would be easy to assign one case study per body system in an Anatomy and Physiology course, or to divide them up into small segments for small in class teaching moments.

The topics are presented in an organized way showing clinical data over time and each case presents a large number of view points. For example, in the first case study, the patient is experiencing difficulty breathing. We follow her through several days from her entrance to the emergency room. We meet her X Ray Technicians, Doctor, Nurses, Medical Assistant, Porter, Physiotherapist, Respiratory therapist, and the Lab Technicians running her tests during her stay. Each practitioner paints the overall clinical picture to the reader.

I found the text easy to navigate. There were not any figures included in the text, only clinical data organized in charts. The figures were all accessible via hyperlink. Some figures within the textbook illustrating patient scans could have been helpful but I did not have trouble navigating the links to visualize the scans.

I did not see any grammatical errors in the text.

The patients in the text are a variety of ages and have a variety of family arrangements but there is not much diversity among the patients. Our seven patients in the eight case studies are mostly white and all cis gendered.

Some of the case studies, for example the heart failure study, show clinical data before and after drug treatments so the students can get a feel for mechanism in physiological action. I also liked that the case studies included diet and lifestyle advice for the patients rather than solely emphasizing these pharmacological interventions. Overall, I enjoyed reading through these case studies and I plan to utilize them in my Anatomy and Physiology courses.

Reviewed by Richard Tarpey, Assistant Professor, Middle Tennessee State University on 5/11/21

As a case study book, there is no index or glossary. However, medical and technical terms provide a useful link to definitions and explanations that will prove useful to students unfamiliar with the terms. The information provided is appropriate... read more

As a case study book, there is no index or glossary. However, medical and technical terms provide a useful link to definitions and explanations that will prove useful to students unfamiliar with the terms. The information provided is appropriate for entry-level health care students. The book includes important health problems, but I would like to see coverage of at least one more chronic/lifestyle issue such as diabetes. The book covers adult issues only.

Content is accurate without bias

The content of the book is relevant and up-to-date. It addresses conditions that are prevalent in today's population among adults. There are no pediatric cases, but this does not significantly detract from the usefulness of the text. The format of the book lends to easy updating of data or information.

The book is written with clarity and is easy to read. The writing style is accessible and technical terminology is explained with links to more information.

Consistency is present. Lack of consistency is typically a problem with case study texts, but this book is consistent with presentation, format, and terminology throughout each of the eight cases.

The book has high modularity. Each of the case studies can be used independently from the others providing flexibility. Additionally, each case study can be partitioned for specific learning objectives based on the learning objectives of the course or module.

The book is well organized, presenting students conceptually with differing patient flow patterns through a hospital. The patient information provided at the beginning of each case is a wonderful mechanism for providing personal context for the students as they consider the issues. Many case studies focus on the problem and the organization without students getting a patient's perspective. The patient perspective is well represented in these cases.

The navigation through the cases is good. There are some terminology and procedure hyperlinks within the cases that do not work when accessed. This is troubling if you intend to use the text for entry-level health care students since many of these links are critical for a full understanding of the case.

There are some non-US variants of spelling and a few grammatical errors, but these do not detract from the content of the messages of each case.

The book is inclusive of differing backgrounds and perspectives. No insensitive or offensive references were found.

I like this text for its application flexibility. The book is useful for non-clinical healthcare management students to introduce various healthcare-related concepts and terminology. The content is also helpful for the identification of healthcare administration managerial issues for students to consider. The book has many applications.

Reviewed by Paula Baldwin, Associate Professor/Communication Studies, Western Oregon University on 5/10/21

The different case studies fall on a range, from crisis care to chronic illness care. read more

The different case studies fall on a range, from crisis care to chronic illness care.

The contents seems to be written as they occurred to represent the most complete picture of each medical event's occurence.

These case studies are from the Canadian medical system, but that does not interfere with it's applicability.

It is written for a medical audience, so the terminology is mostly formal and technical.

Some cases are shorter than others and some go in more depth, but it is not problematic.

The eight separate case studies is the perfect size for a class in the quarter system. You could combine this with other texts, videos or learning modalities, or use it alone.

As this is a case studies book, there is not a need for a logical progression in presentation of topics.

No problems in terms of interface.

I have not seen any grammatical errors.

I did not see anything that was culturally insensitive.

I used this in a Health Communication class and it has been extraordinarily successful. My studies are analyzing the messaging for the good, the bad, and the questionable. The case studies are widely varied and it gives the class insights into hospital experiences, both front and back stage, that they would not normally be able to examine. I believe that because it is based real-life medical incidents, my students are finding the material highly engaging.

Reviewed by Marlena Isaac, Instructor, Aiken Technical College on 4/23/21

This text is great to walk through patient care with entry level healthcare students. The students are able to take in the information, digest it, then provide suggestions to how they would facilitate patient healing. Then when they are faced with... read more

This text is great to walk through patient care with entry level healthcare students. The students are able to take in the information, digest it, then provide suggestions to how they would facilitate patient healing. Then when they are faced with a situation in clinical they are not surprised and now how to move through it effectively.

The case studies provided accurate information that relates to the named disease.

It is relevant to health care studies and the development of critical thinking.

Cases are straightforward with great clinical information.

Clinical information is provided concisely.

Appropriate for clinical case study.

Presented to facilitate information gathering.

Takes a while to navigate in the browser.

Cultural Relevance rating: 1

Text lacks adequate representation of minorities.

Reviewed by Kim Garcia, Lecturer III, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley on 11/16/20

The book has 8 case studies, so obviously does not cover the whole of medicine, but the cases provided are descriptive and well developed. Cases are presented at different levels of difficulty, making the cases appropriate for students at... read more

The book has 8 case studies, so obviously does not cover the whole of medicine, but the cases provided are descriptive and well developed. Cases are presented at different levels of difficulty, making the cases appropriate for students at different levels of clinical knowledge. The human element of both patient and health care provider is well captured. The cases are presented with a focus on interprofessional interaction and collaboration, more so than teaching medical content.

Content is accurate and un-biased. No errors noted. Most diagnostic and treatment information is general so it will remain relevant over time. The content of these cases is more appropriate for teaching interprofessional collaboration and less so for teaching the medical care for each diagnosis.

The content is relevant to a variety of different types of health care providers (nurses, radiologic technicians, medical laboratory personnel, etc) and due to the general nature of the cases, will remain relevant over time.

Easy to read. Clear headings are provided for sections of each case study and these section headings clearly tell when time has passed or setting has changed. Enough description is provided to help set the scene for each part of the case. Much of the text is written in the form of dialogue involving patient, family and health care providers, making it easy to adapt for role play. Medical jargon is limited and links for medical terms are provided to other resources that expound on medical terms used.

The text is consistent in structure of each case. Learning objectives are provided. Cases generally start with the patient at home and move with the patient through admission, testing and treatment, using a variety of healthcare services and encountering a variety of personnel.

The text is modular. Cases could be used individually within a unit on the given disease process or relevant sections of a case could be used to illustrate a specific point. The appendix is helpful in locating content specific to a certain diagnosis or a certain type of health care provider.

Each case follows a patient in a logical, chronologic fashion. A clear table of contents and appendix are provided which allows the user to quickly locate desired content. It would be helpful if the items in the table of contents and appendix were linked to the corresponding section of the text.

The hyperlinks to content outside this book work, however using the back arrow on your browser returns you to the front page of the book instead of to the point at which you left the text. I would prefer it if the hyperlinks opened in a new window or tab so closing that window or tab would leave you back where you left the text.

No grammatical errors were noted.

The text is culturally inclusive and appropriate. Characters, both patients and care givers are of a variety of races, ethnicities, ages and backgrounds.

I enjoyed reading the cases and reviewing this text. I can think of several ways in which I will use this content.

Reviewed by Raihan Khan, Instructor/Assistant Professor, James Madison University on 11/3/20

The book contains several important health issues, however still missing some chronic health issues that the students should learn before they join the workforce, such as diabetes-related health issues suffered by the patients. read more

The book contains several important health issues, however still missing some chronic health issues that the students should learn before they join the workforce, such as diabetes-related health issues suffered by the patients.

The health information contained in the textbook is mostly accurate.

I think the book is written focusing on the current culture and health issues faced by the patients. To keep the book relevant in the future, the contexts especially the culture/lifestyle/health care modalities, etc. would need to be updated regularly.

The language is pretty simple, clear, and easy to read.

There is no complaint about consistency. One of the main issues of writing a book, consistency was well managed by the authors.

The book is easy to explore based on how easy the setup is. Students can browse to the specific section that they want to read without much hassle of finding the correct information.

The organization is simple but effective. The authors organized the book based on what can happen in a patient's life and what possible scenarios students should learn about the disease. From that perspective, the book does a good job.

The interface is easy and simple to navigate. Some links to external sources might need to be updated regularly since those links are subject to change that is beyond the author's control. It's frustrating for the reader when the external link shows no information.

The book is free of any major language and grammatical errors.

The book might do a little better in cultural competency. e.g. Last name Singh is mainly for Sikh people. In the text Harj and Priya Singh are Muslim. the authors can consult colleagues who are more familiar with those cultures and revise some cultural aspects of the cases mentioned in the book.

The book is a nice addition to the open textbook world. Hope to see more health issues covered by the book.

Reviewed by Ryan Sheryl, Assistant Professor, California State University, Dominguez Hills on 7/16/20

This text contains 8 medical case studies that reflect best practices at the time of publication. The text identifies 5 overarching learning objectives: interprofessional collaboration, client centered care, evidence-based practice, quality... read more

This text contains 8 medical case studies that reflect best practices at the time of publication. The text identifies 5 overarching learning objectives: interprofessional collaboration, client centered care, evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and informatics. While the case studies do not cover all medical conditions or bodily systems, the book is thorough in conveying details of various patients and medical team members in a hospital environment. Rather than an index or glossary at the end of the text, it contains links to outside websites for more information on medical tests and terms referenced in the cases.

The content provided is reflective of best practices in patient care, interdisciplinary collaboration, and communication at the time of publication. It is specifically accurate for the context of hospitals in Canada. The links provided throughout the text have the potential to supplement with up-to-date descriptions and definitions, however, many of them are broken (see notes in Interface section).

The content of the case studies reflects the increasingly complex landscape of healthcare, including a variety of conditions, ages, and personal situations of the clients and care providers. The text will require frequent updating due to the rapidly changing landscape of society and best practices in client care. For example, a future version may include inclusive practices with transgender clients, or address ways medical racism implicitly impacts client care (see notes in Cultural Relevance section).

The text is written clearly and presents thorough, realistic details about working and being treated in an acute hospital context.

The text is very straightforward. It is consistent in its structure and flow. It uses consistent terminology and follows a structured framework throughout.

Being a series of 8 separate case studies, this text is easily and readily divisible into smaller sections. The text was designed to be taken apart and used piece by piece in order to serve various learning contexts. The parts of each case study can also be used independently of each other to facilitate problem solving.

The topics in the case studies are presented clearly. The structure of each of the case studies proceeds in a similar fashion. All of the cases are set within the same hospital so the hospital personnel and service providers reappear across the cases, giving a textured portrayal of the experiences of the various service providers. The cases can be used individually, or one service provider can be studied across the various studies.

The text is very straightforward, without complex charts or images that could become distorted. Many of the embedded links are broken and require updating. The links that do work are a very useful way to define and expand upon medical terms used in the case studies.

Grammatical errors are minimal and do not distract from the flow of the text. In one instance the last name Singh is spelled Sing, and one patient named Fred in the text is referred to as Frank in the appendix.

The cases all show examples of health care personnel providing compassionate, client-centered care, and there is no overt discrimination portrayed. Two of the clients are in same-sex marriages and these are shown positively. It is notable, however, that the two cases presenting people of color contain more negative characteristics than the other six cases portraying Caucasian people. The people of color are the only two examples of clients who smoke regularly. In addition, the Indian client drinks and is overweight, while the First Nations client is the only one in the text to have a terminal diagnosis. The Indian client is identified as being Punjabi and attending a mosque, although there are only 2% Muslims in the Punjab province of India. Also, the last name Singh generally indicates a person who is a Hindu or Sikh, not Muslim.

Reviewed by Monica LeJeune, RN Instructor, LSUE on 4/24/20

Has comprehensive unfolding case studies that guide the reader to recognize and manage the scenario presented. Assists in critical thinking process. read more

Has comprehensive unfolding case studies that guide the reader to recognize and manage the scenario presented. Assists in critical thinking process.

Accurately presents health scenarios with real life assessment techniques and patient outcomes.

Relevant to nursing practice.

Clearly written and easily understood.

Consistent with healthcare terminology and framework

Has a good reading flow.

Topics presented in logical fashion

Easy to read.

No grammatical errors noted.

Text is not culturally insensitive or offensive.

Good book to have to teach nursing students.

Reviewed by april jarrell, associate professor, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College on 1/7/20

The text is a great case study tool that is appropriate for nursing school instructors to use in aiding students to learn the nursing process. read more

The text is a great case study tool that is appropriate for nursing school instructors to use in aiding students to learn the nursing process.

The content is accurate and evidence based. There is no bias noted

The content in the text is relevant, up to date for nursing students. It will be easy to update content as needed because the framework allows for addition to the content.

The text is clear and easy to understand.

Framework and terminology is consistent throughout the text; the case study is a continual and takes the student on a journey with the patient. Great for learning!

The case studies can be easily divided into smaller sections to allow for discussions, and weekly studies.

The text and content progress in a logical, clear fashion allowing for progression of learning.

No interface issues noted with this text.

No grammatical errors noted in the text.

No racial or culture insensitivity were noted in the text.

I would recommend this text be used in nursing schools. The use of case studies are helpful for students to learn and practice the nursing process.

Reviewed by Lisa Underwood, Practical Nursing Instructor, NTCC on 12/3/19

The text provides eight comprehensive case studies that showcase the different viewpoints of the many roles involved in patient care. It encompasses the most common seen diagnoses seen across healthcare today. Each case study comes with its own... read more

The text provides eight comprehensive case studies that showcase the different viewpoints of the many roles involved in patient care. It encompasses the most common seen diagnoses seen across healthcare today. Each case study comes with its own set of learning objectives that can be tweaked to fit several allied health courses. Although the case studies are designed around the Canadian Healthcare System, they are quite easily adaptable to fit most any modern, developed healthcare system.

Content Accuracy rating: 3

Overall, the text is quite accurate. There is one significant error that needs to be addressed. It is located in the DVT case study. In the study, a popliteal artery clot is mislabeled as a DVT. DVTs are located in veins, not in arteries. That said, the case study on the whole is quite good. This case study could be used as a learning tool in the classroom for discussion purposes or as a way to test student understanding of DVTs, on example might be, "Can they spot the error?"

At this time, all of the case studies within the text are current. Healthcare is an ever evolving field that rests on the best evidence based practice. Keeping that in mind, educators can easily adapt the studies as the newest evidence emerges and changes practice in healthcare.

All of the case studies are well written and easy to understand. The text includes several hyperlinks and it also highlights certain medical terminology to prompt readers as a way to enhance their learning experience.

Across the text, the language, style, and format of the case studies are completely consistent.

The text is divided into eight separate case studies. Each case study may be used independently of the others. All case studies are further broken down as the focus patient passes through each aspect of their healthcare system. The text's modularity makes it possible to use a case study as individual work, group projects, class discussions, homework or in a simulation lab.

The case studies and the diagnoses that they cover are presented in such a way that educators and allied health students can easily follow and comprehend.

The book in itself is free of any image distortion and it prints nicely. The text is offered in a variety of digital formats. As noted in the above reviews, some of the hyperlinks have navigational issues. When the reader attempts to access them, a "page not found" message is received.

There were minimal grammatical errors. Some of which may be traced back to the differences in our spelling.

The text is culturally relevant in that it includes patients from many different backgrounds and ethnicities. This allows educators and students to explore cultural relevance and sensitivity needs across all areas in healthcare. I do not believe that the text was in any way insensitive or offensive to the reader.

By using the case studies, it may be possible to have an open dialogue about the differences noted in healthcare systems. Students will have the ability to compare and contrast the Canadian healthcare system with their own. I also firmly believe that by using these case studies, students can improve their critical thinking skills. These case studies help them to "put it all together".

Reviewed by Melanie McGrath, Associate Professor, TRAILS on 11/29/19

The text covered some of the most common conditions seen by healthcare providers in a hospital setting, which forms a solid general base for the discussions based on each case. read more

The text covered some of the most common conditions seen by healthcare providers in a hospital setting, which forms a solid general base for the discussions based on each case.

I saw no areas of inaccuracy

As in all healthcare texts, treatments and/or tests will change frequently. However, everything is currently up-to-date thus it should be a good reference for several years.

Each case is written so that any level of healthcare student would understand. Hyperlinks in the text is also very helpful.

All of the cases are written in a similar fashion.

Although not structured as a typical text, each case is easily assigned as a stand-alone.

Each case is organized clearly in an appropriate manner.

I did not see any issues.

I did not see any grammatical errors

The text seemed appropriately inclusive. There are no pediatric cases and no cases of intellectually-impaired patients, but those types of cases introduce more advanced problem-solving which perhaps exceed the scope of the text. May be a good addition to the text.

I found this text to be an excellent resource for healthcare students in a variety of fields. It would be best utilized in inter professional courses to help guide discussion.

Reviewed by Lynne Umbarger, Clinical Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy, Emory and Henry College on 11/26/19

While the book does not cover every scenario, the ones in the book are quite common and troublesome for inexperienced allied health students. The information in the book is thorough enough, and I have found the cases easy to modify for educational... read more

While the book does not cover every scenario, the ones in the book are quite common and troublesome for inexperienced allied health students. The information in the book is thorough enough, and I have found the cases easy to modify for educational purposes. The material was easily understood by the students but challenging enough for classroom discussion. There are no mentions in the book about occupational therapy, but it is easy enough to add a couple words and make inclusion simple.

Very nice lab values are provided in the case study, making it more realistic for students.

These case studies focus on commonly encountered diagnoses for allied health and nursing students. They are comprehensive, realistic, and easily understood. The only difference is that the hospital in one case allows the patient's dog to visit in the room (highly unusual in US hospitals).

The material is easily understood by allied health students. The cases have links to additional learning materials for concepts that may be less familiar or should be explored further in a particular health field.

The language used in the book is consistent between cases. The framework is the same with each case which makes it easier to locate areas that would be of interest to a particular allied health profession.

The case studies are comprehensive but well-organized. They are short enough to be useful for class discussion or a full-blown assignment. The students seem to understand the material and have not expressed that any concepts or details were missing.

Each case is set up like the other cases. There are learning objectives at the beginning of each case to facilitate using the case, and it is easy enough to pull out material to develop useful activities and assignments.

There is a quick chart in the Appendix to allow the reader to determine the professions involved in each case as well as the pertinent settings and diagnoses for each case study. The contents are easy to access even while reading the book.

As a person who attends carefully to grammar, I found no errors in all of the material I read in this book.

There are a greater number of people of different ethnicities, socioeconomic status, ages, and genders to make this a very useful book. With each case, I could easily picture the person in the case. This book appears to be Canadian and more inclusive than most American books.

I was able to use this book the first time I accessed it to develop a classroom activity for first-year occupational therapy students and a more comprehensive activity for second-year students. I really appreciate the links to a multitude of terminology and medical lab values/issues for each case. I will keep using this book.

Reviewed by Cindy Krentz, Assistant Professor, Metropolitan State University of Denver on 6/15/19

The book covers eight case studies of common inpatient or emergency department scenarios. I appreciated that they had written out the learning objectives. I liked that the patient was described before the case was started, giving some... read more

The book covers eight case studies of common inpatient or emergency department scenarios. I appreciated that they had written out the learning objectives. I liked that the patient was described before the case was started, giving some understanding of the patient's background. I think it could benefit from having a glossary. I liked how the authors included the vital signs in an easily readable bar. I would have liked to see the labs also highlighted like this. I also felt that it would have been good written in a 'what would you do next?' type of case study.

The book is very accurate in language, what tests would be prudent to run and in the day in the life of the hospital in all cases. One inaccuracy is that the authors called a popliteal artery clot a DVT. The rest of the DVT case study was great, though, but the one mistake should be changed.

The book is up to date for now, but as tests become obsolete and new equipment is routinely used, the book ( like any other health textbook) will need to be updated. It would be easy to change, however. All that would have to happen is that the authors go in and change out the test to whatever newer, evidence-based test is being utilized.

The text is written clearly and easy to understand from a student's perspective. There is not too much technical jargon, and it is pretty universal when used- for example DVT for Deep Vein Thrombosis.

The book is consistent in language and how it is broken down into case studies. The same format is used for highlighting vital signs throughout the different case studies. It's great that the reader does not have to read the book in a linear fashion. Each case study can be read without needing to read the others.

The text is broken down into eight case studies, and within the case studies is broken down into days. It is consistent and shows how the patient can pass through the different hospital departments (from the ER to the unit, to surgery, to home) in a realistic manner. The instructor could use one or more of the case studies as (s)he sees fit.

The topics are eight different case studies- and are presented very clearly and organized well. Each one is broken down into how the patient goes through the system. The text is easy to follow and logical.

The interface has some problems with the highlighted blue links. Some of them did not work and I got a 'page not found' message. That can be frustrating for the reader. I'm wondering if a glossary could be utilized (instead of the links) to explain what some of these links are supposed to explain.

I found two or three typos, I don't think they were grammatical errors. In one case I think the Canadian spelling and the United States spelling of the word are just different.

This is a very culturally competent book. In today's world, however, one more type of background that would merit delving into is the trans-gender, GLBTQI person. I was glad that there were no stereotypes.

I enjoyed reading the text. It was interesting and relevant to today's nursing student. Since we are becoming more interprofessional, I liked that we saw what the phlebotomist and other ancillary personnel (mostly different technicians) did. I think that it could become even more interdisciplinary so colleges and universities could have more interprofessional education- courses or simulations- with the addition of the nurse using social work, nutrition, or other professional health care majors.

Reviewed by Catherine J. Grott, Interim Director, Health Administration Program, TRAILS on 5/5/19

The book is comprehensive but is specifically written for healthcare workers practicing in Canada. The title of the book should reflect this. read more

The book is comprehensive but is specifically written for healthcare workers practicing in Canada. The title of the book should reflect this.

The book is accurate, however it has numerous broken online links.

Relevance/Longevity rating: 3

The content is very relevant, but some links are out-dated. For example, WHO Guidelines for Safe Surgery 2009 (p. 186) should be updated.

The book is written in clear and concise language. The side stories about the healthcare workers make the text interesting.

The book is consistent in terms of terminology and framework. Some terms that are emphasized in one case study are not emphasized (with online links) in the other case studies. All of the case studies should have the same words linked to online definitions.

Modularity rating: 3

The book can easily be parsed out if necessary. However, the way the case studies have been written, it's evident that different authors contributed singularly to each case study.

The organization and flow are good.

Interface rating: 1

There are numerous broken online links and "pages not found."

The grammar and punctuation are correct. There are two errors detected: p. 120 a space between the word "heart" and the comma; also a period is needed after Dr (p. 113).

I'm not quite sure that the social worker (p. 119) should comment that the patient and partner are "very normal people."

There are roughly 25 broken online links or "pages not found." The BC & Canadian Guidelines (p. 198) could also include a link to US guidelines to make the text more universal . The basilar crackles (p. 166) is very good. Text could be used compare US and Canadian healthcare. Text could be enhanced to teach "soft skills" and interdepartmental communication skills in healthcare.

Reviewed by Lindsey Henry, Practical Nursing Instructor, Fletcher on 5/1/19

I really appreciated how in the introduction, five learning objectives were identified for students. These objectives are paramount in nursing care and they are each spelled out for the learner. Each Case study also has its own learning... read more

I really appreciated how in the introduction, five learning objectives were identified for students. These objectives are paramount in nursing care and they are each spelled out for the learner. Each Case study also has its own learning objectives, which were effectively met in the readings.

As a seasoned nurse, I believe that the content regarding pathophysiology and treatments used in the case studies were accurate. I really appreciated how many of the treatments were also explained and rationales were given, which can be very helpful to facilitate effective learning for a nursing student or novice nurse.

The case studies are up to date and correlate with the current time period. They are easily understood.

I really loved how several important medical terms, including specific treatments were highlighted to alert the reader. Many interventions performed were also explained further, which is great to enhance learning for the nursing student or novice nurse. Also, with each scenario, a background and history of the patient is depicted, as well as the perspectives of the patient, patients family member, and the primary nurse. This really helps to give the reader a full picture of the day in the life of a nurse or a patient, and also better facilitates the learning process of the reader.

These case studies are consistent. They begin with report, the patient background or updates on subsequent days, and follow the patients all the way through discharge. Once again, I really appreciate how this book describes most if not all aspects of patient care on a day to day basis.

Each case study is separated into days. While they can be divided to be assigned at different points within the course, they also build on each other. They show trends in vital signs, what happens when a patient deteriorates, what happens when they get better and go home. Showing the entire process from ER admit to discharge is really helpful to enhance the students learning experience.

The topics are all presented very similarly and very clearly. The way that the scenarios are explained could even be understood by a non-nursing student as well. The case studies are very clear and very thorough.

The book is very easy to navigate, prints well on paper, and is not distorted or confusing.

I did not see any grammatical errors.

Each case study involves a different type of patient. These differences include race, gender, sexual orientation and medical backgrounds. I do not feel the text was offensive to the reader.

I teach practical nursing students and after reading this book, I am looking forward to implementing it in my classroom. Great read for nursing students!

Reviewed by Leah Jolly, Instructor, Clinical Coordinator, Oregon Institute of Technology on 4/10/19

Good variety of cases and pathologies covered. read more

Good variety of cases and pathologies covered.

Content Accuracy rating: 2

Some examples and scenarios are not completely accurate. For example in the DVT case, the sonographer found thrombus in the "popliteal artery", which according to the book indicated presence of DVT. However in DVT, thrombus is located in the vein, not the artery. The patient would also have much different symptoms if located in the artery. Perhaps some of these inaccuracies are just typos, but in real-life situations this simple mistake can make a world of difference in the patient's course of treatment and outcomes.

Good examples of interprofessional collaboration. If only it worked this way on an every day basis!

Clear and easy to read for those with knowledge of medical terminology.

Good consistency overall.

Broken up well.

Topics are clear and logical.

Would be nice to simply click through to the next page, rather than going through the table of contents each time.

Minor typos/grammatical errors.

No offensive or insensitive materials observed.

Reviewed by Alex Sargsyan, Doctor of Nursing Practice/Assistant Professor , East Tennessee State University on 10/8/18

Because of the case study character of the book it does not have index or glossary. However it has summary for each health case study outlining key elements discussed in each case study. read more

Because of the case study character of the book it does not have index or glossary. However it has summary for each health case study outlining key elements discussed in each case study.

Overall the book is accurately depicting the clinical environment. There are numerous references to external sites. While most of them are correct, some of them are not working. For example Homan’s test link is not working "404 error"

Book is relevant in its current version and can be used in undergraduate and graduate classes. That said, the longevity of the book may be limited because of the character of the clinical education. Clinical guidelines change constantly and it may require a major update of the content.

Cases are written very clearly and have realistic description of an inpatient setting.

The book is easy to read and consistent in the language in all eight cases.

The cases are very well written. Each case is subdivided into logical segments. The segments reflect different setting where the patient is being seen. There is a flow and transition between the settings.

Book has eight distinct cases. This is a great format for a book that presents distinct clinical issues. This will allow the students to have immersive experiences and gain better understanding of the healthcare environment.

Book is offered in many different formats. Besides the issues with the links mentioned above, overall navigation of the book content is very smooth.

Book is very well written and has no grammatical errors.

Book is culturally relevant. Patients in the case studies come different cultures and represent diverse ethnicities.

Reviewed by Justin Berry, Physical Therapist Assistant Program Director, Northland Community and Technical College, East Grand Forks, MN on 8/2/18

This text provides eight patient case studies from a variety of diagnoses, which can be utilized by healthcare students from multiple disciplines. The cases are comprehensive and can be helpful for students to determine professional roles,... read more

This text provides eight patient case studies from a variety of diagnoses, which can be utilized by healthcare students from multiple disciplines. The cases are comprehensive and can be helpful for students to determine professional roles, interprofessional roles, when to initiate communication with other healthcare practitioners due to a change in patient status, and treatment ideas. Some additional patient information, such as lab values, would have been beneficial to include.

Case study information is accurate and unbiased.

Content is up to date. The case studies are written in a way so that they will not be obsolete soon, even with changes in healthcare.

The case studies are well written, and can be utilized for a variety of classroom assignments, discussions, and projects. Some additional lab value information for each patient would have been a nice addition.

The case studies are consistently organized to make it easy for the reader to determine the framework.

The text is broken up into eight different case studies for various patient diagnoses. This design makes it highly modular, and would be easy to assign at different points of a course.

The flow of the topics are presented consistently in a logical manner. Each case study follows a patient chronologically, making it easy to determine changes in patient status and treatment options.

The text is free of interface issues, with no distortion of images or charts.

The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. Patients are represented from a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds

This book would be a good addition for many different health programs.

Reviewed by Ann Bell-Pfeifer, Instructor/Program Director, Minnesota State Community and Technical College on 5/21/18

The book gives a comprehensive overview of many types of cases for patient conditions. Emergency Room patients may arrive with COPD, heart failure, sepsis, pneumonia, or as motor vehicle accident victims. It is directed towards nurses, medical... read more

The book gives a comprehensive overview of many types of cases for patient conditions. Emergency Room patients may arrive with COPD, heart failure, sepsis, pneumonia, or as motor vehicle accident victims. It is directed towards nurses, medical laboratory technologists, medical radiology technologists, and respiratory therapists and their roles in caring for patients. Most of the overview is accurate. One suggestion is to provide an embedded radiologist interpretation of the exams which are performed which lead to the patients diagnosis.

Overall the book is accurate. Would like to see updates related to the addition of direct radiography technology which is commonly used in the hospital setting.

Many aspects of medicine will remain constant. The case studies seem fairly accurate and may be relevant for up to 3 years. Since technology changes so quickly in medicine, the CT and x-ray components may need minor updates within a few years.

The book clarity is excellent.

The case stories are consistent with each scenario. It is easy to follow the structure and learn from the content.

The book is quite modular. It is easy to break it up into cases and utilize them individually and sequentially.

The cases are listed by disease process and follow a logical flow through each condition. They are easy to follow as they have the same format from the beginning to the end of each case.

The interface seems seamless. Hyperlinks are inserted which provide descriptions and references to medical procedures and in depth definitions.

The book is free of most grammatical errors. There is a place where a few words do not fit the sentence structure and could be a typo.

The book included all types of relationships and ethnic backgrounds. One type which could be added is a transgender patient.

I think the book was quite useful for a variety of health care professionals. The authors did an excellent job of integrating patient cases which could be applied to the health care setting. The stories seemed real and relevant. This book could be used to teach health care professionals about integrated care within the emergency department.

Reviewed by Shelley Wolfe, Assistant Professor, Winona State University on 5/21/18

This text is comprised of comprehensive, detailed case studies that provide the reader with multiple character views throughout a patient’s encounter with the health care system. The Table of Contents accurately reflected the content. It should... read more

This text is comprised of comprehensive, detailed case studies that provide the reader with multiple character views throughout a patient’s encounter with the health care system. The Table of Contents accurately reflected the content. It should be noted that the authors include a statement that conveys that this text is not like traditional textbooks and is not meant to be read in a linear fashion. This allows the educator more flexibility to use the text as a supplement to enhance learning opportunities.

The content of the text appears accurate and unbiased. The “five overarching learning objectives” provide a clear aim of the text and the educator is able to glean how these objectives are captured into each of the case studies. While written for the Canadian healthcare system, this text is easily adaptable to the American healthcare system.

Overall, the content is up-to-date and the case studies provide a variety of uses that promote longevity of the text. However, not all of the blue font links (if using the digital PDF version) were still in working order. I encountered links that led to error pages or outdated “page not found” websites. While the links can be helpful, continued maintenance of these links could prove time-consuming.

I found the text easy to read and understand. I enjoyed that the viewpoints of all the different roles (patient, nurse, lab personnel, etc.) were articulated well and allowed the reader to connect and gain appreciation of the entire healthcare team. Medical jargon was noted to be appropriate for the intended audience of this text.

The terminology and organization of this text is consistent.

The text is divided into 8 case studies that follow a similar organizational structure. The case studies can further be divided to focus on individual learning objectives. For example, the case studies could be looked at as a whole for discussing communication or could be broken down into segments to focus on disease risk factors.

The case studies in this text follow a similar organizational structure and are consistent in their presentation. The flow of individual case studies is excellent and sets the reader on a clear path. As noted previously, this text is not meant to be read in a linear fashion.

This text is available in many different forms. I chose to review the text in the digital PDF version in order to use the embedded links. I did not encounter significant interface issues and did not find any images or features that would distract or confuse a reader.

No significant grammatical errors were noted.

The case studies in this text included patients and healthcare workers from a variety of backgrounds. Educators and students will benefit from expanding the case studies to include discussions and other learning opportunities to help develop culturally-sensitive healthcare providers.

I found the case studies to be very detailed, yet written in a way in which they could be used in various manners. The authors note a variety of ways in which the case studies could be employed with students; however, I feel the authors could also include that the case studies could be used as a basis for simulated clinical experiences. The case studies in this text would be an excellent tool for developing interprofessional communication and collaboration skills in a variety healthcare students.

Reviewed by Darline Foltz, Assistant Professor, University of Cincinnati - Clermont College on 3/27/18

This book covers all areas listed in the Table of Contents. In addition to the detailed patient case studies, there is a helpful section of "How to Use this Resource". I would like to note that this resource "aligns with the open textbooks... read more

This book covers all areas listed in the Table of Contents. In addition to the detailed patient case studies, there is a helpful section of "How to Use this Resource". I would like to note that this resource "aligns with the open textbooks Clinical Procedures for Safer Patient Care and Anatomy and Physiology: OpenStax" as noted by the authors.

The book appears to be accurate. Although one of the learning outcomes is as follows: "Demonstrate an understanding of the Canadian healthcare delivery system.", I did not find anything that is ONLY specific to the Canadian healthcare delivery system other than some of the terminology, i.e. "porter" instead of "transporter" and a few french words. I found this to make the book more interesting for students rather than deter from it. These are patient case studies that are relevant in any country.

The content is up-to-date. Changes in medical science may occur, i.e. a different test, to treat a diagnosis that is included in one or more of the case studies, however, it would be easy and straightforward to implement these changes.

This book is written in lucid, accessible prose. The technical/medical terminology that is used is appropriate for medical and allied health professionals. Something that would improve this text would to provide a glossary of terms for the terms in blue font.

This book is consistent with current medical terminology

This text is easily divided into each of the 6 case studies. The case studies can be used singly according to the body system being addressed or studied.

Because this text is a collection of case studies, flow doesn't pertain, however the organization and structure of the case studies are excellent as they are clear and easy to read.

There are no distractions in this text that would distract or confuse the reader.

I did not identify any grammatical errors.

This text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way and uses patients and healthcare workers that are of a variety of races, ethnicities and backgrounds.

I believe that this text would not only be useful to students enrolled in healthcare professions involved in direct patient care but would also be useful to students in supporting healthcare disciplines such as health information technology and management, medical billing and coding, etc.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

Case Study #1: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

  • Learning Objectives
  • Patient: Erin Johns
  • Emergency Room

Case Study #2: Pneumonia

  • Day 0: Emergency Room
  • Day 1: Emergency Room
  • Day 1: Medical Ward
  • Day 2: Medical Ward
  • Day 3: Medical Ward
  • Day 4: Medical Ward

Case Study #3: Unstable Angina (UA)

  • Patient: Harj Singh

Case Study #4: Heart Failure (HF)

  • Patient: Meryl Smith
  • In the Supermarket
  • Day 0: Medical Ward

Case Study #5: Motor Vehicle Collision (MVC)

  • Patient: Aaron Knoll
  • Crash Scene
  • Operating Room
  • Post Anaesthesia Care Unit (PACU)
  • Surgical Ward

Case Study #6: Sepsis

  • Patient: George Thomas
  • Sleepy Hollow Care Facility

Case Study #7: Colon Cancer

  • Patient: Fred Johnson
  • Two Months Ago
  • Pre-Surgery Admission

Case Study #8: Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

  • Patient: Jamie Douglas

Appendix: Overview About the Authors

Ancillary Material

About the book.

Health Case Studies is composed of eight separate health case studies. Each case study includes the patient narrative or story that models the best practice (at the time of publishing) in healthcare settings. Associated with each case is a set of specific learning objectives to support learning and facilitate educational strategies and evaluation.

The case studies can be used online in a learning management system, in a classroom discussion, in a printed course pack or as part of a textbook created by the instructor. This flexibility is intentional and allows the educator to choose how best to convey the concepts presented in each case to the learner.

Because these case studies were primarily developed for an electronic healthcare system, they are based predominantly in an acute healthcare setting. Educators can augment each case study to include primary healthcare settings, outpatient clinics, assisted living environments, and other contexts as relevant.

About the Contributors

Glynda Rees teaches at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in Vancouver, British Columbia. She completed her MSN at the University of British Columbia with a focus on education and health informatics, and her BSN at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Glynda has many years of national and international clinical experience in critical care units in South Africa, the UK, and the USA. Her teaching background has focused on clinical education, problem-based learning, clinical techniques, and pharmacology.

Glynda‘s interests include the integration of health informatics in undergraduate education, open accessible education, and the impact of educational technologies on nursing students’ clinical judgment and decision making at the point of care to improve patient safety and quality of care.

Faculty member in the critical care nursing program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) since 2003, Rob has been a critical care nurse for over 25 years with 17 years practicing in a quaternary care intensive care unit. Rob is an experienced educator and supports student learning in the classroom, online, and in clinical areas. Rob’s Master of Education from Simon Fraser University is in educational technology and learning design. He is passionate about using technology to support learning for both faculty and students.

Part of Rob’s faculty position is dedicated to providing high fidelity simulation support for BCIT’s nursing specialties program along with championing innovative teaching and best practices for educational technology. He has championed the use of digital publishing and was the tech lead for Critical Care Nursing’s iPad Project which resulted in over 40 multi-touch interactive textbooks being created using Apple and other technologies.

Rob has successfully completed a number of specialist certifications in computer and network technologies. In 2015, he was awarded Apple Distinguished Educator for his innovation and passionate use of technology to support learning. In the past five years, he has presented and published abstracts on virtual simulation, high fidelity simulation, creating engaging classroom environments, and what the future holds for healthcare and education.

Janet Morrison is the Program Head of Occupational Health Nursing at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in Burnaby, British Columbia. She completed a PhD at Simon Fraser University, Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology, with a focus on health information technology. Her dissertation examined the effects of telehealth implementation in an occupational health nursing service. She has an MA in Adult Education from St. Francis Xavier University and an MA in Library and Information Studies from the University of British Columbia.

Janet’s research interests concern the intended and unintended impacts of health information technologies on healthcare students, faculty, and the healthcare workforce.

She is currently working with BCIT colleagues to study how an educational clinical information system can foster healthcare students’ perceptions of interprofessional roles.

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Hacking The Case Interview

Hacking the Case Interview

Best case interview books

Case interview books are resources designed to help individuals prepare for consulting interviews, particularly those that involve solving complex business problems or case studies. These books provide guidance on the interview process, frameworks, and case examples to practice.

Selecting the right case interview book to use can make the difference between acing your case interviews and getting rejected by consulting firms.

You’ll spend many hours practicing cases using the strategies that you learn from these prep books. So, you’ll want to make sure you are using the best books to learn the most effective and efficient case interview strategies.

In this article, we’ll thoroughly review 15 of the top case interview books. We’ll cover the positives and negatives of each and recommend you the best case interview books to read.

If you’re looking for a step-by-step shortcut to learn case interviews quickly, enroll in our case interview course . These insider strategies from a former Bain interviewer helped 30,000+ land consulting offers while saving hundreds of hours of prep time.

Why Do You Need to Read Case Interview Books?

A case interview, also known as a “case” for short, is a 30 to 60-minute exercise in which you and the interviewer work together to develop a recommendation or answer to a business problem.

Case interviews simulate what the consulting job will be like by placing you in a hypothetical business situation. Cases simulate real business problems that consulting firms solve for their clients. Many case interviews are based on actual projects that interviewers have worked on.

As you can see, case interviews are unlike anything you’ve probably ever seen before at school or on the job. They require sufficient preparation. Very few candidates can walk into a consulting interview and nail their case interviews with zero practice.

Case interview books are needed for five primary reasons:

1. What to expect : Case interviews books cover the typical structure and flow of a case interview. You should be familiar with this so that you know what to expect in your interview.

2. Case interview strategies : Case interview books provide strategies and techniques that you can use to nail the different parts of the case interview. In a case interview, you’ll need to:

  • Summarize the case background information
  • Ask clarifying questions
  • Structure a framework
  • Kick off and drive the direction of the case
  • Solve quantitative problems
  • Answer qualitative questions
  • Deliver a recommendation

3. Math refresher:  Some case interview books provide a refresher of the essential math skills you need to solve case interviews. This is especially helpful for candidates that don’t have a quantitative background or candidates that have not done math in a while. Important math skills needed include:

  • Addition and subtraction
  • Multiplication and division
  • Percent change formula
  • Profit formula
  • Compounded annual growth rate formula
  • ROI formula

4. Business refresher : Some case interview books provide a refresher of essential business knowledge and concepts. This is especially helpful for candidates that do not have a business background. Examples of important business concepts include:

  • Barriers to entry
  • Market size
  • Competitive advantage

5. Practice cases : Case interview books provide examples of case interviews that you can read, follow-along with, or practice with a case partner. Getting sufficient practice greatly improves your chances of passing your case interviews.

What Are All of the Different Case Interview Books?

There are currently 15 major case interview books available. These books are:

  • Hacking the Case Interview (Taylor Warfield)
  • The Ultimate Case Interview Workbook (Taylor Warfield)
  • Case Interview Secrets (Victor Cheng)
  • Case in Point (Marc Cosentino)
  • Crack the Case (David Ohrvall)
  • Interview Math (Lewis C. Lin)
  • Embrace the Case Interview (Brad Schiller)
  • Case Weights (Ben Okon)
  • Cracking Case Interviews (Max Serrano & Jonathon Yarde)
  • 20 Days to Ace the Case (Destin Whitehurst & Erin Robinson)
  • Case Interviews for Beginners (Stephen Pidgeon)
  • The Case Interview Workbook (Robert Mellon)
  • Case Master (Ron Clouse & Valentin Nugmanov)
  • Mastering the Case Interview (Alexander Chernev)
  • How to Get into the Top Consulting Firms (Tim Darling)

We’ll provide a comprehensive review of each book, covering the pros and cons of each and recommend you the best case interview books to read.

How We Assessed Which Case Interview Books Are Best

We assessed the top 15 case interview books by consolidating customer reviews from Amazon, Goodreads, and consulting forums with my perspective as a former Bain Manager and interviewer.

These case interview books were assessed on the following eight criteria: comprehensiveness, depth of coverage, clarity, conciseness, currentness, practice cases, author credibility, and engagement.

  • Comprehensiveness : Does the case interview book cover all the necessary principles and concepts to ace interviews? Does it provide strategies and tips for every step of the case interview process?
  • Depth of coverage : Are sufficient examples provided? Are there sufficient explanations provided?
  • Clarity : Is the case interview book written clearly? Is it easy to read and understand?
  • Conciseness : Is the case interview book written concisely? Does it avoid adding fluff or unnecessary anecdotes?
  • Currentness : Has the case interview book been updated recently? Does it contain the latest, up-to-date information?
  • Practice cases : Does the book have high quality practice cases? How many practice cases are provided?
  • Author credibility : Does the author come from a relevant and credible background? How knowledgeable is the author on case interviews?
  • Engagement : Is the case interview book an interesting and fun read? Is there some personality or style added into the content?

What Are the Best Case Interview Books?

Here is our ranking of the best case interview books:

Best case interview books

Hacking the Case Interview Review

Hacking the Case Interview Review

We strongly recommend Hacking the Case Interview as the first case interview book you should read. It teaches the most efficient way to learn case interviews to make the best use of your time. The strategies and methods in this book are much more updated and robust than traditional strategies found in Case Interview Secrets and Case in Point. Additionally, the practice cases closely simulate real case interviews.

Hacking the Case Interview has consistently received reviews as the most concise and straight to the point case interview prep book in the market. There is no fluff, anecdotal stories, or long explanations that many other case interview books have. The book breaks down case interviews in a simple, clear, and concise format for easy understanding and application.

The book has received praise for its robust framework strategy, which allows candidates to showcase their natural business intuition instead of using stale, memorized frameworks. Many other case interview texts push for methods or frameworks that are overly complex and not that effective.

The primary feedback from readers is for more practice cases to be included in the book, which is what led the author to write “The Ultimate Case Interview Workbook.” That book provides additional practice problems and practice cases to supplement this book.

The Ultimate Case Interview Workbook Review

The Ultimate Case Interview Workbook Review

We highly recommend The Ultimate Case Interview Workbook to hone your case interview skills once you have learned the right case interview strategies,. The 15 practice cases can be done individually or with a partner and closely simulate the case interviews you’ll see on interview day. If there are particular areas of the case interview that you struggle with, you can hone in on those areas by doing over 65 practice problems across nine different types of case interview questions.

Reviews have consistently complimented the wide range of high-quality practice problems and practice cases that The Ultimate Case Interview Workbook provides. One reviewer mentioned that out of 33 case interviews, 25 of them had cases that were similar or relevant to the practice cases in this book. Readers have found the explanations in the book to be clear and insightful, helping them improve their case interview abilities.

Reviews also mention that this book is great for practicing case interviews on your own because they are written in a format such that they can be done individually or with a partner.

Since this book focuses on case interview practice, it only provides a brief summary of case interview strategies in each section. To learn case interview strategies, you should supplement this book with “Hacking the Case Interview” or another case interview prep book that teaches you strategies.

Case Interview Secrets Review

Case Interview Secrets Review

Case Interview Secrets is worth a read. Overall, it provides great explanations of essential case interview concepts. The stories and anecdotes in the book are entertaining and help paint a clear picture of what to expect in a case interview, what interviewers are looking for, and how to solve a case interview.

Case Interview Secrets is the book I primarily used to land my job offer at Bain. It provides great explanations on fundamental case interview concepts. The book paints a clear picture of why case interviews are used, what to expect, and how interviewer’s evaluate candidates.

However, the book is quite a long read and some concepts and principles could have been summarized in a much shorter way, without using long stories and anecdotes.

Additionally, the framework strategy is a bit too simplistic to be effective in all case interviews. The book basically teaches you two frameworks. One framework is simply the formula for profit. The other framework is known as the business situation framework and is comprised of the elements of customer, competition, product, and company, to use in nearly all of your cases.

Now a days, interviewers can easily tell when you are using memorized frameworks, so just using this book’s framework strategy will not help you stand out among other candidates.

Finally, there are no practice cases in this book, so you’ll have to find practice problems and cases elsewhere.

For a more detailed review, check out our article on a Comprehensive Review of Case Interview Secrets .

Interview Math Review

Interview Math Review

Interview Math is a decent book. It is most helpful for candidates that are looking to improve their consulting math skills. The book provides plenty of practice on how to solve common types of problems, such as market sizing, profitability, and breakeven . However, the book lacks practice on how to use business judgment to correctly interpret answers to quantitative questions. You’ll likely need to supplement this book with other books or resources to get that type of practice.

Case Interview Math is structured very clearly, so you can easily focus on the types of math problems that give you the most trouble. There are plenty of practice questions and clearly explained solutions.

However, the book focuses purely on doing math. It does not cover how to use business judgment to make sense of the numbers. Rather, it focuses on just calculating the correct answer and stopping there.

Embrace the Case Interview Review

Embrace the Case Interview Review

Embrace the Case Interview is a decent book. It covers a lot of material, including resumes and cover letters , behavioral interview questions, and case interviews. The information and strategies are all useful and better than most consulting interview prep books. However, there are a few case interview books that provide slightly more robust strategies and explain the different parts of the case interview in a bit more detail.

Unlike many other case interview books, Embrace the Case Interview covers how to write an outstanding resume and cover letter. The tips are helpful, but are not as comprehensive or detailed as many of the consulting resume and cover letter guides online that you can read for free.

The framework strategy presented in Embrace the Case Interview is similar to the framework strategy in Hacking the Case Interview, but is not as robust.

Embrace the Case provides great information on answering qualitative questions, quantitative questions, and delivering a recommendation.

Overall, the information in the book is collectively helpful. However, there are other case interview prep books that explain certain sections a bit more thoroughly and provide slightly more robust strategies.

Case Weights Review

Case Weights Review

Case Weights is a decent workbook to practice your case interview skills. Although it goes into detail on how to approach the nine different components of the case interview, some of the strategies are unnecessarily complicated.

Additionally, the book does not provide as many practice problems as other case interview books and has no full-length practice cases. It may be helpful to read through the strategies presented, but know you’ll likely need to adapt the strategies to make them a bit simpler.

Case Weights has an interesting way of breaking down the case interview into nine components, which make up the “Fortress of Caseitude.” The book is very structured in providing a lot of detail on tips to approach each component. However, some strategies are unnecessarily complicated. Other case interview books have strategies that are simpler and more effective than the strategies in this book.

The book provides a few drills in each section, but more practice problems are needed to really practice case interview math, market sizing, brainstorming, and interpreting charts and exhibits.

Finally, there are no full-length practice cases included, which would have been helpful to bring all of the learnings together.

Case Master Review

Case Master Review

Case Master is an okay case interview book to practice working through various different kinds of case interviews. While the cases are detailed and thorough, the pacing and style may not be representative of actual cases you’ll see in a consulting interview. Instead, the book focuses on providing more challenging cases to help you identify weakness areas.

Because of this and the fact that there are only eight practice cases, you’ll likely need to supplement this book with other case interview books to get more practice.

The practice cases in the Case Masters are very thorough, detailed, and much longer in length than practice cases in other case interview books. The case dialogue helps the reader understand what the case interview sounds like and the case debrief provides a lot of learnings that the reader can take away.

The only potential issue with these practice cases is that they are not entirely representative of the types of cases you’ll see in real case interviews. A case interview goes quite quickly, usually lasting between 20 to 40 minutes. In a real case interview, you will not have the time to think through all of the potential considerations and get answers to all of your questions.

Nevertheless, the practice cases are entertaining to read and you’ll learn a new business concept in each case that you complete.

Cracking Case Interviews Review

Cracking Case Interviews Review

Cracking Case Interviews is a decent book. While none of the information in the book is groundbreaking or unique, it provides clear summaries for key case interview concepts, heavily focused on McKinsey style interviews. The book also includes resume and cover letter tips and strategies for answering behavioral questions. However, most of the tips are fairly straight forward and covered in many other case interview books.

Although there are five practice cases, reader feedback suggests that they serve more as a guide rather than realistic case interview practice.

Case in Point Review

Case in Point Review

Case in Point is the most popular case interview book. Although it has been the best-selling case interview book on Amazon for a long time, the strategies in this book are outdated and overly complex. The practice cases are not representative of cases you’ll see in an actual case interview. However, it does cover a lot of fundamental business concepts by going through the 12 popular case scenarios, which may be helpful to read for those without a business background.

Case in Point provides a ton of information by covering 12 different case scenarios. These may be helpful to read for people that do not have a strong business background.

However, Case in Point’s strategy of memorizing 12 different frameworks to apply to 12 different case scenarios does not work in case interviews now a days. Often, memorized frameworks will have elements that are not relevant and important to the particular case you receive. Even when they are relevant, interviewers can tell when you are using memorized frameworks and not thinking critically.

If you solely rely on the case system strategy in this book, you will have a hard time distinguishing yourself from other candidates.

Additionally, the practice cases in this book are too short and simple to be representative of cases you’ll actually see in a case interview. They are written in a dialogue format, making it difficult to practice on your own or with a partner.

For a more detailed review, check out our article on a Comprehensive Review of Case in Point .

Crack the Case System Review

Crack the Case System Review

We do not recommend Crack the Case System . It overcomplicates the case interview process by providing many different mnemonics for the reader to memorize for different case situations. A lot of the information in the book is generic and common-sense. There are much better case interview books that provide more robust and effective strategies in a more succinct and easier to understand way.

Readers of the book have commented that 25% of the book is useful and the rest is fairly generic information.

The first one hundred pages of the book provides a lot of generic case interview advice that does not need one hundred pages to explain. For example, the author tells you to be nice, avoid wearing unprofessional clothing, make small talk, and have a firm handshake, which does not add that much value to readers.

The strategies in this framework revolve around basic mnemonics. For example, one strategy provided is summarized as FRAME: form a plan, read the audience, anchor a hypothesis, mine for an answer, and end the case. Again, this information does not add that much value to readers.

The author’s Maximum Value Model is a massive set of different things to memorize for five different case scenarios. The Maximum Value Model is not only difficult to memorize, but ineffective in most case interviews.

Using memorized frameworks to solve case interviews is not the right way to solve cases. Often, the elements in your memorized framework will not be relevant to the case. Interviewers also know when you are regurgitating memorized information and not thinking critically for yourself.

Additionally, the supplementary online videos repeat a lot of the contents of the book. You do not need to purchase the book to get access to the online material, so if you decide to use this resource, you can get the same material online for free.

Overall, the book and online material overcomplicates the case interview process and presents a lot of generic case interview strategies using mnemonics.

Case Interviews for Beginners Review

Case Interviews for Beginners Review

We do not recommend Case Interviews for Beginners . While it does provide basic and helpful information on case interviews, there are many other case interview books that do a much better job of it. There are no unique strategies or pieces of information in this book that other case interview books do not cover.

The book provides very basic information on the case interview. By the end of the book, you’ll understand what a case interview is and have an idea of what mistakes to avoid. However, the book does not offer too many actionable strategies for tackling each step of the case interview. For example, it does not go into detail on how to create an effective structure or how to deliver a structured recommendation.

While the book is fairly short in length at about 130 pages, it does repeat many points. Additionally, there are also no practice cases in Case Interviews for Beginners, so you will need to use other books and resources to practice anything that you have learned in the book.

The Case Interview Workbook Review

The Case Interview Workbook Review

The Case Interview Workbook is not worth your time or purchase. We strongly recommend that you use other case interview books or resources to practice case interviews.

With 60 practice cases, the Case Interview Workbook sounds like a great resource, but unfortunately does not live up to expectations.

One, these cases are not representative of case interviews you’ll actually see on interview day as they are overly short and simplistic. Each practice case is only 1 – 2 pages long, covering only one or two questions each.

Two, these cases are taken from publicly available resources on the internet. A lot of the titles to the practice cases are taken directly from MBA casebooks. Why pay for these cases when you can use MBA casebooks for free? While the author claims to have edited these cases, they are still low-quality practice cases. There are many other case interview books that provide higher-quality practice cases.

20 Days to Ace the Case Review

20 Days to Ace the Case Review

We do not recommend 20 Days to Ace the Case . The book does not provide enough detailed strategies to tackle each part of the case interview. There are case interview books that provide more robust and effective strategies as well as higher-quality practice cases.

Structuring the book to prepare for case interviews in 20 days is a very interesting concept, but unfortunately the book does not live up to expectations. Since half of the chapters are mock interviews, there is not that much content on actual case interview strategies.

For example, the book covers two very basic frameworks, the profitability framework and the internal/external framework. While these frameworks do work in certain case situations, the book does not cover how to create a framework for the majority of different case situations. Additionally, these frameworks are nothing special and will not help you distinguish yourself from other candidates.

If you were to solely rely on this book 20 days before your case interview, you would not learn enough strategies to tackle case interviews and you would likely not get enough practice.

How to Get into the Top Consulting Firms Review

How to Get Into the Top Consulting Firms Review

How to Get into the Top Consulting Firms was written in 2009 and is skippable. Feedback from readers has suggested that the book is lower quality than other books in the market and fails to meet expectations. Readers cite typos, miscalculations, and even missing text. While there are some good pieces of information in the book on the general consulting interview process, these bits are easily found elsewhere. The case interview strategies are basic and simple.

Mastering the Case Interview Review

Mastering the Case Interview Review

Readers cite that Mastering the Case Interview was not particularly useful when read along with a few of the other case interview prep books. The information is redundant and unnecessary with content that is easily found elsewhere. This book has the lowest Goodreads rating of all books we’ve reviewed, less than 3.5/5.

The book has sample case questions, but only a few questions are answered in each section. The rest is left as an exercise to the reader without providing solutions. There is feedback from readers that the case questions should have more thorough analysis done.

How Do I Use Case Interview Books Effectively?

Follow these steps to get the most out of your case interview books:

1. Understand what a case interview is

The first step in preparing for consulting case interviews is to understand exactly what case interviews are and what a perfect case interview performance looks like.

Knowing what a great case interview performance looks like will facilitate how quickly you learn case interview strategies in the next step. It’ll give you a concrete goal that you can replicate and strive for.

2. Learn case interview strategies first before practicing

Now that you understand what case interviews are, the next step in preparing for case interviews is to learn the right strategies to build good case interview habits.

It is much more effective to learn the right case strategies the first time than to learn poor strategies and try to correct them later.

Make sure to spend sufficient time learning the right strategies before starting to practice cases. It is ineffective to practice cases if you have no idea what strategies to practice and refine.

3. Practice 3-5 cases by yourself

Once you have learned the right strategies, the next step in case interview prep is to practice.

When practicing case interviews, it is usually better to practice with a case interview partner than to practice by yourself . Casing with a partner better simulates the real case interview experience.

However, when you are just starting to practice, I recommend doing the first 3 – 5 cases by yourself.

There are three reasons for this:

You can get the hang of the case interview structure and format much more quickly working by yourself rather than having to wait to schedule a time with a partner

There are many aspects of case interviews that you can practice without a partner, such as structuring a framework and solving quantitative problems. You can get much more practice working through these parts by yourself

You may have difficulty finding a case interview partner if you are a complete case interview beginner . Without having done any cases, you likely won’t know how to properly give a case or provide good feedback.

For practice cases, check out our article on 23 MBA consulting casebooks with 700+ free practice cases .

4. Practice 5-10 cases with a partner

The next step in preparing for case interviews is to case with a partner.

Casing with a partner is the best way to simulate a real case interview. There are many aspects of case interviews that you won’t be able to improve on unless you practice live with a partner.

When practicing cases with a partner, ensure you are spending enough time after cases to deliver feedback.

For a case that takes around 30 – 40 minutes, spend at least 15 – 20 minutes for feedback. Much of your learning and improvement will come from these feedback sessions.

5. Work on improving one thing at a time

In this step of preparing for case interviews, you will work on strengthening and fine-tuning your improvement areas. Examples of common improvement areas include:

  • Creating a more complete and mutually exclusive framework
  • Performing math calculations quicker or more smoothly
  • Providing more structure to your qualitative answers
  • Leading the case more proactively
  • Delivering a more succinct recommendation

Try to focus on improving one thing at a time. This is much more effective than trying to improve everything at once.

For some areas, such as math, it will be better to work independently. For other areas, such as learning to proactively lead the case, it will be better to work with a case partner.

Alternative to Using Case Interview Books

In my opinion, the quickest and most efficient way to learn case interview strategies is to go through an online course.

Typically, online courses are more effective than just reading articles and books because they teach through visuals and audio. There is also a lot more functionality that can be put into an online course than through a traditional book.

We’ve developed a comprehensive case interview course to teach the most effective case interview strategies in the least amount of time.

Check out our case interview course (our #1 recommendation): The only resource you need. Whether you have no business background, rusty math skills, or are short on time, this step-by-step course will transform you into a top 1% caser that lands multiple consulting offers.

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Does Marriage Really Bring People Happiness? A Discussion

black and white image of one hand placing a wedding ring on another hand

B rad Wilcox is the director of National Marriage Project and a professor of sociology at the University of Virginia. In his new book, Get Married: Why Americans Must Defy the Elites, Forge Strong Families, and Save Civilization , he makes the case that the decline of marriage, the rate of which has dropped 60% over the past 50 years, has brought with it a decline of happiness and prosperity. He criticizes "liberal elites" for encouraging alternatives to marriage while themselves being married and coming from married parents. In an interview with TIME, he explains why he thinks marriage is better for people and for society, how Medicaid and education spending are making marriage harder, and why we should swap electric-car subsidies for more child tax credits.

You write in your book that many of the biggest problems across America are rooted in the collapse of marriage and family life. What do you mean by that?

Today in America the Jeffersonian vision of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is in trouble. When it comes to life, what we're seeing is that scores of especially men are turning to drink, to pills, or the barrel of a gun, and record numbers are dying in what’s been called deaths of despair . When it comes to liberty, a lot of Americans understand that in terms of the ability to rise from rags to riches, and there are too many places in America where poor kids remain poor as adults. And when it comes to happiness, we've been seeing in both Gallup polls and the General Social Survey that happiness is down.

Read More: Why Are So Many Notable Celebrity Couples Breaking Up?

Hasn’t a lot else been happening in the U.S. that might contribute to higher levels of unhappiness?

You might think that this is about economic inequality, failing schools, race, or the current or potential future occupant of the White House. But when you look at the research, one of the most important factors is marriage or family structure. When we look at deaths of despair, for instance, what we see is that the impact of marriage on deaths of despair is more important than college, age, or racial factors. And new research from the University of Chicago economist Sam Peltzman tells us that “the recent decline in the married share of adults can explain (statistically) most of the recent decline in overall happiness.”

Isn’t it also possible that people who are less socially anxious are more likely to get married and people who are less socially anxious are also less likely to commit suicide?

There’s no question in my mind that part of the story is a selection effect where the kinds of people today who are getting married are more educated, more socially skilled, more religious, and these are all factors that are linked to greater happiness. But I think what the critics are not acknowledging is that marriage gives people access to a co-pilot who gives you typically a sense of support, is in your corner when times are tough, and is someone to love and care for. Economists find a causal effect on happiness at all stages of marriage.

The book offers data that suggests children from their biological parents in an intact marriage are less likely to be impoverished, in prison, or unemployed. Might that not be because, as you say, people who are wealthier are more likely to get married?

A big part of the story here is about marriage and men. And it is true that the kinds of men who are more educated and more stably employed are also more likely to get married. So there's a way in which money shapes who gets married. But we also see in the research that men enjoy a premium from marriage, even controlling for their background characteristics. A study in Minnesota found that a married twin earned about 26% more than his identical twin who was not married. That’s evidence that there's something about marriage per se that has demonstrable effects on things like money and happiness.

Read More: You're Fighting With Your Partner All Wrong

An alternative theory is that the things that are keeping Americans from marrying—the rise of social media and of an economy that favors the highly educated, for example—are also the things that are causing the unhappiness.

It’s certainly possible. The rise of smartphones since around 2010 is having a particularly independent negative effect on the psychological fortunes of American teenagers and young adults , especially young women. It also has probably contributed to less dating and less marriage. But again, if you think that we are social animals, and that we're hardwired to connect, then the lack of this fundamental human connection between spouses is a major factor here as well.

Does it have to be marriage? Could pair-bonding in the form of living together have a similar effect on people’s futures, as it seems to in Europe?

I think the pair-bonding piece is fundamental. But in the U.S. the quality of relationships, as assessed by couples, is a bit higher for married couples than it is for cohabiting couples . Commitment levels are markedly different between married and cohabiting couples, and the understanding of where you are in the relationship is much clearer in marriage than it is in cohabiting couples. Culture matters, and having ceremonies and customs and laws governing our relationships is helpful. Cohabiting couples just don't have as much of that common culture to guide and orient their relationships.

Some of your book deals with government policies that you believe are marriage-unfriendly. Why would Medicaid, which protects the health of children, be bad for marriage?

When it comes to the marriage penalties that we see in America today, what we are seeing is that with programs like Medicaid, for instance, it's often the case that particularly working-class families, couples with kids who are kind of in that second [socioeconomic] quintile, are more likely to experience penalties if they marry. Couples have a dilemma where they've got to pick between having a higher material standard of living or marriage. The loss of [means-tested] benefits, particularly Medicaid, [if they marry] has been a central issue for them.

Read More: Why Don't More Women Propose?

Would you suggest a basic level of health care for anybody, regardless of their marital status?

I have concerns about expanding the scope of public spending in the direction of Sweden, so I'm in favor of having more of a means-tested approach to serving working-class and poor American families.

How is it family-unfriendly to spend more on education?

The point I'm making in the book is that we direct too much of our public spending to higher education. There could be efficiencies gained by devoting more of that money and attention to things like vocational education, both in community colleges and in high schools, to beef up our capacity to serve young adults, particularly young men, who would benefit from learning a trade or some kind of skill that would push them into a middle-skilled job that would help their professional and marital prospects.

What about government-funded childcare centers? How are they family-unfriendly?

We should allow families to best determine what's good for themselves and for their own children. More educated elites tend to prefer paid childcare, and working-class and poor Americans are more likely to prefer family care. Government-supported childcare privileges the two-earner model of family life over a more pluralistic approach to supporting families, and how we determine who gets to care for their kids. I'm in favor of a generous child tax credit that would give families the ability to use that money on those resources to figure out how best to care for their kids.

You raise a number of examples in your book of the media pushing an anti-marriage narrative, but there are pro-marriage shows, such as Love Is Blind , Married at First Sight , and The Bachelor , everywhere on TV. Isn't marriage actually lauded as an ideal?

Stories that say that women who stay single and don't have kids are getting richer and talking about how married heterosexual motherhood in America is a game no one wins are missing the fact that, on average and in general, marriage and motherhood are linked to more happiness for women. And that marriage is linked to markedly more income and wealth for women. There is something about what's happening in the elite culture that is not particularly marriage-friendly. I looked at differences in attitudes towards marriage and children by education and ideology and found that only 30% of liberal college-educated Americans agreed that "children are better off if they have two married parents," compared to 90% of conservative college-educated Americans. There is unfortunately a dynamic playing out where liberal college-educated Americans, who tend to dominate the heights of our culture, have bought into what I call the "family diversity myth," which makes them more skeptical of this idea that marriage matters.

Read More: How Americans Really Feel About Consensual Non-Monogamy

One of the interesting data points you raise is that the rate of children born to unmarried couples has leveled off since 2009. Why?

Childbearing is down across the board, in part because women have better educational and professional opportunities so they're more likely to postpone or forego childbearing, and in part because of technology, the rise of what I call electronic opiates—smartphones and other social media—are impeding dating and family formation. There's also a possibility that the generation that was raised after a welfare reform in 1996 became more cautious about having kids out of wedlock, because they were thinking there would not be as much economic support. I also think we are seeing more difficulty between women and men getting together in part because a lot of working-class and poor young men are seeing their sort of fortunes fall in terms of things like stable work.

To what do you attribute the rise of men, such as Andrew Tate, who advise against marriage? Is it a real thing or just a thing on the Internet?

This view is derived in part from the view that most marriages end in divorce, and so a man would have to be kind of stupid to put a ring on it. Tate would kind of prefer that men stay single, make lots of money, play with their toys, and use but not invest in the opposite sex. I do think it unfortunately does speak to a minority of men, especially younger men who are experiencing difficulty finding someone to date, and also finding an ideological divide between themselves and the opposite sex, and men who are divorced unwillingly. And then, because men are floundering when it comes to school and work in larger numbers, it can cultivate a certain kind of misogyny. What they're getting wrong is that today most marriages go the distance and that the divorce rates are no longer one in two, and that men who get and stay married are markedly happier, less lonely, and more prosperous than their peers who are not.

So you hold the position that marriage is good for people, and marriage is good for society. Do you also hold the position therefore that same-sex people should be allowed to get married?

I haven't weighed in on that. What I do in the book is mention that less than 1% of married parents are same sex.

I'm aware of the figure, but I'm interested in your view.

It’s important to wait to get some evidence. One of the surprising things about the same-sex-marriage story is that the take-up has, in terms of family life, not been as high as we might have expected. I think the jury's still out on how that's going to play out.

Your book says religious couples have more sex. Why do you think that is?

My colleague Wendy Wang and I did a YouGov survey, and we found that about two-thirds of churchgoing couples have sex at least once a week, and that less than half of more secular couples have sex once a week. I know of research saying that religious couples are happier in general and are happier with their sex lives in particular, but I wasn't expecting to see such a big gap when it comes to sexual frequency. It looks like the pattern is replicated in the 2022 General Social Survey. My hypothesis is that religious couples tend to enjoy more commitment, more trust, more emotional security, that even praying together fosters a unique kind of intimacy. But we don't know precisely what's going on here.

You, a conservative, propose raising the child tax credit to $350 a month. Do you have ideas on how to pay for that?

There are pieces in the federal budget that could be tweaked or removed. We have very generous credits for electric cars, and I would support removing that and allocating that money to the child-tax-credits budget. That particular credit tends to go to richer Americans. I think we could direct that money more to American families.

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