ISSN 1535-7821
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2002  January-March   Vol. 18  No. 2

Link to ArticleArticles

Link to ArticleArticles from the Literature.
Link to ArticleMLA 2002

Link to ArticleBook Reviews

Link to ArticleSimkin, Penny. The Birth Partner: Everything you need to know to help a woman through childbirth
Link to ArticleBuchholz, William M. et al. Live Longer, Live Larger: a holistic approach for cancer patients and families
Link to ArticleWeiner, William J. et al. Parkinson's Disease: a complete guide for patients & families.
Link to ArticleGlaser, Bert et al. The Macular Degeneration Source Book
Link to ArticleKornmehl, Ernest W. et al. LASIK: A Guide to Laser Vision Correction.
Link to ArticleRosenthal, Norman E. Winter Blues: Seasonal Affective Disorder: What It Is and How to Overcome It
Link to ArticleMay, Jeffrey C. My House Is Killing Me! The Home Guide for Families with Allergies and Asthma

Link to ArticleNews

Link to ArticleEvents

Link to ArticlePublication Information


Articles from the Literature

By Kay Deeney
Pacific Southwest Regional Medical Library
Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library/UCLA
  1. Gobel G, Andreatta S, Masser J, Pfeiffer KP. A MeSH based intelligent search intermediary for Consumer Health Information Systems. Int J Med Inf. Dec 2001;64(2-3):241-251.
  2. Eysenbach G. Evidence-based Patient Choice and Consumer Health Informatics in the Internet Age. J Med Internet Res. Apr-Jun 2001;3(2):E19.
  3. Terry NP. Rating the raters : legal exposure of trustmark authorities in the context of consumer health informatics. J Med Internet Res. Jul-Sep 2000;2(3):E18.
  4. Babish JA. CHI services: consumer health library consortia--a growing trend. Natl Netw. Oct 2001;26(2):9.
  5. Longo DR, Patrick TB. Consumer reports and health care information: a call for research. J Health Care Finance. Fall 2001;28(1):92-96.
  6. Gustafson DH, Hawkins RP, Boberg EW, et al. Chess: ten years of research and development in consumer health informatics for broad populations, including the underserved. Medinfo. 2001;10(Pt 2):1459-1563.
  7. Lippman H. Carving new roles for the health care consumer. Bus Health. 2000;18(6 Suppl A):30-34.
  8. Wagner TH, Hibbard JH, Greenlick MR, Kunkel L. Does providing consumer health information affect self-reported medical utilization? Evidence from the Healthwise Communities Project. Med Care. Aug 2001;39(8):836-847.
  9. Pittman TJ, O'Connor MD, Millar S, Erickson JI. Patient education: designing a state-of-the-art consumer health information library. J Nurs Adm. Jun 2001;31(6):316-323.
  10. Navarro FH, Wilkins ST. A new perspective on consumer health Web use: "valuegraphic" profiles of health information seekers. Manag Care Q. Spring 2001;9(2):35-43.
  11. Eysenbach G, Diepgen TL. The role of e-health and consumer health informatics for evidence-based patient choice in the 21st century. Clin Dermatol. Jan-Feb 2001;19(1):11-17.
  12. Studies produce mixed portrait of online health consumer. Internet Healthc Strateg. Mar 2001;3(3):9-10.

MLA 2002

By  Lucy B. Thomas
Reeves Medical Library, Cottage Hospital
Santa Barbara, CA

The theme for MLA 2002 is "Big D" so all the programs have the letter "D". The CAPHIS supported programming is as follows: The first program is Diversity. Demographics and Disparities in Accessing and Delivering Health Information and Health Care. Part I is on Sunday 5/19/02, from 4-5:30 PM. It will address access to complementary and alternative therapies and information by all groups, regardless of ethnic & financial considerations. Part II, on Monday, 5/20/01, from 10:30 AM-12:00 noon, will address the ability to access quality health care as a "health parity" issue. Chiropractic is the lead sponsor for this program. CAPHIS is partnering with Relevant Issues, Public Health, Complimentary Medicine, Mental Health, Osteopathic, and the African American and Outreach SIGS.The second program, Dollars and Sense, is also a two-part program. Part I is on Sunday 5/19/02, from 4-5:30 PM. Invited speaker Tom Sanville from OHIOLink will discuss consortial purchases, especially by multitype libraries; as well as all the issues involved in such an undertaking. The lead sponsor for this program is Collection Development; CAPHIS is the secondary sponsor. Dollars and Sense, Part II is Creative Collaboration for Funding & Service. It will be on Monday 5/20/02, from 10:30 AM-12:00 noon, and will explore the role of multi-type library networks and other consortia in providing and expanding access to health information. CAPHIS is lead sponsor on this; other sponsors include Collection Development, Hospital Libraries, Technical Services, and Federal Libraries. The third program, Dealing With the Tough Questions will be held on Wednesday 5/22/02, from 9-10:30 AM. Invited Speaker Gail Rink, MSW, is a national award winning Hospice educator and counselor. CAPHIS is the lead sponsor on this. Secondary sponsors are Cancer Librarians, Nursing & Allied health Resources, Veterinary Medicine, Federal Libraries, and Mental Health SIGs.

Book Reviews

Simkin, Penny. The Birth Partner: Everything you need to know to help a woman through childbirth. 2nd. Ed. Harvard Common Press, 2001. 337 p. index. ISBN 1-55832-195-0 paperback. $12.95.
This is the second edition of a book written for the person helping a woman through childbirth. The author, Penny Simkin, has over 30 years of experience in teaching and supporting women through childbirth and has authored or co-authored several books on this topic.Though the reader is encouraged to read the entire book before the baby's birth, the author recognizes that the book will probably be used as a reference during labor and that the birth partner may need to find answers quickly. Some of the page edges are darkened so that they can be quickly located - information about timing contractions, "positions and movements for labor and birth", "first aid for emergencies in childbirth" and "When can pain medication be used?" are some of the quick reference sections.The text is clear and easy to understand. It is almost as if the author were sitting with the reader having a conversation. Ms. Sirkin recognizes that medical jargon is often difficult to understand so she uses medical terms along with clearly understandable descriptions. The text is liberally sprinkled with line drawings that help illustrate the topic being discussed. The line drawings are good but I think adding some color photographs would have been an advantage for the reader.This is an excellent resource for a consumer health library.

Review by:
Marge Kars
Bronson Methodist Hospital
Kalamazoo, Michigan

Buchholz, William M. and Susan W. Buchholz. Live Longer, Live Larger: a holistic approach for cancer patients and families. O'Reilly, 2001. 389 p. index. ISBN 1-56592-845-8. $24.95Live Longer, Live Larger is based on almost twenty-five years of experience with thousands of patients and families dealing with cancer. The authors are a husband and wife team. He is a medical oncologist; she, a clinical psychologist.Drs. Buchholz define the largeness of a person's life as a product of how long they live times how well they live (quality of life) times how meaningfully they live (spiritual, creative, contributive aspects). The emphasis of the book is guiding the reader to examine the latter two aspects.The book has six divisions: initial diagnosis, deciding on treatment, going through treatment, experience of remission, relapsing, and facing the endgame. Topics include conquering fear, finding the right treatment for yourself, using hope as medicine, surmounting barriers to treatment, increasing quality and meaning of life, redefining your relationship with cancer, and finding opportunity amidst the crisis. Sections include reflective questions to ask : What am I willing to risk in order to be cured? What kind of support do I need? Do my plans for the future prevent me from living in the present?The authors share many stories of patients to illustrate each point. These are told in both narrative form and as direct quotes from the patients themselves.The book serves as a guide to help the patient put his/her life in perspective. While subtitled as an approach for cancer patients, some of the patients described in the book do not suffer from cancer at all, but from other life-threatening or life-shortening diseases. Live Longer, Liver Larger would be helpful for anyone who is facing serious illness, not just cancer, whether it is life-threatening or not.

Weiner, Willian J. et al. Parkinson's Disease: a complete guide for patients & families. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001. 256p . index. ISBN 0-8018-6556-5. $15.95
This book thoroughly covers early symptoms and diagnosis, disease stages, late complications, treatment side effects and distinguishing complications and side effects from unrelated symptoms. Illustrations are few but support the text well. A good feature is a concluding question-and-answer chapter with short clear answers to frequently asked questions with the chapters noted where the topics are covered. Other books by other authors written for people with Parkinson's and their families do discuss personal coping, life management, and exercise in more depth, but none cover the known scientific facts more thoroughly. Topics barely mentioned in others, such as the occurrence of hallucinations, are fully addressed. Though there is a good chapter on surgical interventions, details on specific devices still need to come from their manufacturers. The authors, especially the first author, are well known neurologists specializing in movement disorders, with many peer-reviewed articles in publication. The reading grade level is high, grade 12 in all the randomly chosen paragraphs that were scanned, and the readability scores tend to be low. This may be unavoidable in a serious attempt to explain pathophysiology of the nervous system. Our impression is that many Parkinson's people are committed enough to learning about the disease to deal with the difficult reading, but some may give up, or read only selected chapters. The primary audience may be the younger, better-educated patient or family member. Whenever technical words are used, they are explained in ordinary language at their first appearance. Chapters may be read separately, and there are good cross references to other chapters where topics touched on are discussed in more depth or initially introduced.

Review by:
Anna Gieschen
Wegner Health Sciences Information Center
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
with help from Phyllis Newstrom
Parkinson's Support Group Facilitator
Sioux Valley Hospital USD Medical Center

Glaser, Bert & Picker, Lester A. The Macular Degeneration Source Book. Addicus Books, 2002. 153 p. index. ISBN 1-886039-53-4. $14.95
The Wills Eye Hospital Library regularly receives requests from the public for information on macular degeneration. This book should be useful in dealing with some of those questions.The authors, a retina specialist and a health writer, begin with a clear summary of the disease and its different manifestations. They emphasize risk factors and how to reduce them. In addition, they are honest about the limited treatment options and the fact that they primarily retard the development of the disease but do not significantly improve the patient's vision. The strength of the book, however, is in its chapters about how to adapt to visual impairment. They address ways in which the patient's home can be made "eye-friendly" and suggest accommodations for the workplace. A list of resources at the end includes names, addresses, phone numbers, and URLs for the major organizations concerned with visual impairment; and information on the vision aids and software that are available to assist the visually impaired in continuing to lead a normal life. Unfortunately, there are two major flaws to this book. First, the type size is too small for someone with a visual impairment to read without a magnifying device. A larger font could have been used without adding to the size of the book since the margins are fairly wide. The second area of concern is the lack of references. The chapters on the disease process, treatment options, and reduction of risk factors all include mention of various research studies yet there is no documentation of these studies. Many of our patients want to read reports from the various clinical trials. A book of this sort should provide for additional reading.

Review by:
Judith Schaeffer Young
Wills Eye Hospital
Philadelphia, PA

Kornmehl, Ernest W.; Maloney, Robert K.; Davidorf, Jonathan M. LASIK: A Guide to Laser Vision Correction. Addicus Books, 2001. 115 pages. ISBN 1-886039-54-2. $14.95.
This slender volume provides a clear, concise overview of the laser vision correction surgery known as LASIK. After a brief, illustrated explanation of how the eye works and how the surgery is performed, the benefits, risks, and contraindications are laid out in a very readable fashion. The excellent illustrations include photographs, black and white line drawings, and color drawings of the eye, the procedure, and the instruments used. Compared to other titles on the topics, it has the nicest illustrations and the clearest explanation on how to read and understand your eyeglass prescription. It is also the shortest and written at the lowest reading level. The authors are all opthalmologists who have performed the surgery many times, and one of them (Maloney) has had the procedure done himself.

The two other recent titles on laser vision correction that I consulted were The Laser Vision Breakthrough and The Complete Book of Laser Eye Surgery. If you already own one of these two titles, then you probably don't need LASIK: A Guide to Laser Vision Correction, unless you have a need for something written at a lower literacy level. Both of the older titles go into more depth and detail than LASIK does. The authors of all three books have good credentials, and cover the same basics. LASIK: A Guide to Laser Vision Correction has the lowest reading level.

Review by:
Eris Weaver
Redwood Health Library
Petaluma, CA

Rosenthal, Norman E. Winter Blues: Seasonal Affective Disorder: What It Is and How to Overcome It. Guilford Press, 1998. 354 p. index. ISBN 1-57230-395-6. $15.95.
In the early 1980s, Dr. Rosenthal and his colleagues at the National Institute of Mental Health first described seasonal affective disorder (SAD) as a syndrome and pioneered the use of light therapy to treat it. Dr. Rosenthal himself suffers (or perhaps more correctly, suffered) from SAD. In this revised edition of his book originally published in 1993, he discusses SAD and the milder form of depression, winter blues. He estimates that six percent of the U.S. population suffer from SAD and another fourteen percent from winter blues. Dr. Rosenthal reviews the causes and symptoms of SAD, describes other illnesses that may resemble SAD, and urges readers to get a physical exam to rule out these other illnesses. A questionnaire is included to help you determine if you suffer from SAD and when to seek medical advice. The chapter on light therapy is excellent, using a question and answer format. It includes possible side effects and even a sample letter to send to a health insurance carrier to request coverage for the purchase of a light box. There is a chapter on ways to help yourself cope with SAD and winter blues, including stress management, exercise, and diet. The author favors the Carbohydrate Addict's Diet" and the Paleolithic diet, which some may see as a drawback to the book. The chapter on psychotherapy describes the types available, when to seek therapy, and how to choose a psychotherapist. Other chapters cover SAD in children, antidepressant medications, herbs, and vitamins, a step-by-step guide for mapping your symptoms and planning activities and therapies for each month, information for families and friends of SAD sufferers, and research on SAD and its treatment.Beyond an in-depth discussion of SAD and its treatment, the author also touches on related topics that make for interesting reading, such as "summer SAD," hibernation, seasonal effects on reproduction and sex, seasonal effects on animals, other possible uses for light therapy such as treating PMS or jet lag, SAD in northern countries, historical examples of SAD, the seasons and creativity, and the joys of winter. The final section of the book offers resources for purchasing light boxes, help in finding a therapist or support group, dietary advice, a bibliography for further reading, and a SAD self-assessment. While the reading level is somewhat high (Flesch-Kincaid grade level 11.0), overall this is an excellent book, not only informative but a pleasure to read.

Review by:
Anita Kirk Cleary, MLIS
Providence Yakima Medical Center
Yakima, WA

May, Jeffrey C. My House Is Killing Me! The Home Guide for Families with Allergies and Asthma. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001. 348 p. ISBN 0-8018-6730-4. $16.95.
Jeffrey May, an Indoor Air Quality investigator, begins by describing the visible and microscopic ecology of our homes that can affect the quality of the air we breathe, then goes on to examine each area of a typical house and the conditions that may encourage an unhealthy environment. While we learn more than we probably wanted to know about the contents of microscopic fecal pellets, we also learn how to control the molds, bacteria, yeast, dust mites and other allergens in our living spaces. May also addresses off-gassing problems.In each chapter, May uses examples from his own experiences inspecting homes and investigating sources of health problems for allergic and asthmatic clients to illustrate the effects of excessive humidity, house pets, leaky plumbing, poor insulation, furniture and carpets stored in unfavorable conditions, inefficient or contaminated chimneys and air ducts, and the use of certain plastics and adhesives. Some of the discoveries of this chemistry teacher and allergy sufferer turned Indoor Air Quality professional in the homes he has inspected are alarming from a health and safety perspective, while others are merely amusing. (My personal favorite is the story of the steaming toilet in the illegal basement apartment.) He closes each chapter with specific recommendations to keep the indoor environment more hospitable to us than to dust mites and other allergens. This book includes a glossary and a resource guide, but no index.Potentially more useful to people looking for detailed recommendations to control allergens in their home is Jayne M. Ruppenkamp's 101 Ways to Reduce Allergens in Your Home (Positive Publishing, 1999. 140 p. ISBN 0-9670163-0-4. $15.95 - available from Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics,, phone 800-878-4403). For information about the air quality of schools, consider works such as The Healthy School Handbook: Conquering the Sick Building Syndrome and Other Environmental Hazards In and Around Your School, edited by Norma L. Miller (NEA Professional Library, 1995.446 p. index. ISBN 0-8106-1863-X. $21.95).

Review by:
Brenda R. Pfannenstiel, MALS, MA.
Kreamer Family Resource Center
Children's Mercy Hospitals & Clinics
Kansas City, MO


MEDLINEplus Received URAC is the first government Web site to receive the URAC Health Web Site Accreditation designation from URAC, a Washington group also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission.

New Drug Information on MEDLINEplusOn May 8 the drug information available from MEDLINEplus was expanded to include the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists (ASHP) MedMaster(TM) database. MedMaster includes over 700 drug monographs. New alphabetical index pages indicate the source of the information, MedMaster or the United States Pharmacopeia's Drug Information Advice for the Patient, which has been available on MEDLINEplus since May 2000.

MEDLINEplus Use GrowingIn April MEDLINEplus was visited by over 1.3 million unique users, who accessed over 11 million pages.




Publication Information


Consumer Connections (ISSN 1535-7821) is the newsletter of the Consumer and Patient Information Section of the Medical LibraryAssociation and is published quarterly.

Content for each issue is cumulated online at, primarily during the first two months of the quarter; the issue is considered complete at the end of the quarter. Notification of publication is sent quarterly via the CAPHIS listserv. Newsletter articles and book reviews are copyrighted; please contact the editor for reprint permission.


Please submit items for Consumer Connections during the third quarter for publication in the following quarter.

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Please send submissions in electronic format to the editors:

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Nancy Dickenson
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Fax: (650) 725-1444

2002  January-March   Vol. 18  No. 2  
ISSN 1535-7821

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CAPHIS, the Consumer and Patient Health Information Section, is a section of the Medical Library Association, an association of health information professionals with more than 5,000 individual and institution members. MLA fosters excellence in the professional achievement and leadership of health sciences library and information professionals to enhance the quality of health care, education, and research.

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