ISSN 1535-7821
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 Vol. 22 No. 1 2006 

Link to ArticleAnnual Meeting Update

Link to ArticleArticles

Link to Article A New Way to Educate Your Patients: Thomson Gale Adds Video Library to Health and Wellness Resource Center

Link to ArticleFamily Resource Centers in Hospitals

Link to ArticleThe Librarian's Role in Implementing a Patient Education System

Link to ArticleMLA's Leadership and Management Section: Recent History Reveals Growth and Dynamism

Link to ArticleBook Reviews

Link to ArticleMiller-Kovach, Karen.  Weight Watcher's family power: 5 simple rules for a healthy-weight home.

Link to ArticleLondon, Melissa.  The gluten-free kid : a celiac disease survivor guide.

Link to ArticleConnor, Elizabeth.  Internet guide to travel health

Link to ArticleBurns, David D.  When panic attacks: the new drug-free anxiety therapy that can change your life.

Link to ArticleNarins, Brigham (ed.).  The Gale encyclopedia of genetic disorders. 2nd ed.

Link to ArticleCristian, Adrian.  Lower limb amputation: a guide to quality life.

Link to ArticleSeverin, Sanford L. and Todd D. Severin.  TriEnergics: balancing nutrition, exercise & mindfulness for lasting wellness.

Link to ArticleCarey, Anthony B.  The pain-free program: a proven method to relieve back, neck, shoulder, and joint pain.

Link to ArticleRedmond, Geoffrey, M.D.  The hormonally vulnerable woman.

Link to ArticleGilletz, Norene.  The low iodine diet cookbook: easy and delicious recipes & tips for thyroid cancer patients.

Link to ArticleCafiero, Joanne M.  Meaningful exchanges for people with autism: an introduction to augmentative and alternative communication.

Link to ArticleNolen-Hoeksema, Susan.  Eating, drinking, overthinking: the toxic triangle of food, alcohol and depression - and how women can break free.

Link to ArticleLiebmann-Smith, Joan, Jaqueline Nardi Egan, and John J. Stangel.  The unofficial guide to getting pregnant.

Link to ArticleShalts, Edward, M.D., DHT.  The American Institute of Homeopathy handbook for parents: a guide for treatment to everything from colds and allergies to ADHD, obesity, and depression.

Link to ArticlePublication Information

Link to ArticleSubmissions

Link to ArticleAdvertising


Annual Meeting Update

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MLA Annual Meeting Quickly Approaching

In addition to our regular business meeting CAPHIS will be sponsoring one section program, and a pre-conference symposium at this years Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, May 19 – 24, 2006.  The deadline for early-bird discount registration is April 17th. After May 12th you will need to bring your registration form to the registration desk in the Phoenix Civic Plaza for onsite registration.

Our Annual Business Meeting, open to all members, is scheduled for Monday, May 22, 2006 from 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm.  This meeting is sponsored by Swets Information Services. This is your opportunity to let your voice be heard. Refreshing beverages and a lite nosh will be served.


Our section program, Promoting Patient Safety, moderated by Lorri Zipperer, will be Tuesday, May 23, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm. The program is co-sponsored by the Chiropractic Libraries Section and the African American Medical Librarians Alliance SIG.  The program is sponsored by Matthews Books. This contributed paper session will feature the following papers:

  1. Clinical Pathways for Hospitalist at Bellevue Hospital Center, by Tania P. Bardyn and Dorice L. Vieira, NYU’s Ehrman Medical Library;

  2. Personal Disital Assistants: A Prospective Tool for Enhancing Patient Safety, by Joanne V. McHugh-Romano, student from Texas Woman’s University;

  3. Integrating Library Expertise in the Development of a Patient Tool to Foster Informed Decision Making and Participatory Healthcare, by Julie Beauregard, Jim Jirjis, Taneya Koonce, Shannon Potter, and Nunzia B. Giuse, Vanderbilt University Medical Center; and

  4. An Evidence-Based Approach to Development of a Patient-Centered Website, by Douglas L. Varner, Kathleen Oliver, and Nancy K. Roderer, Welch Medical Library at Johns Hopkins University.

Patient Safety: A Proactive Approach for Information Professional (, the pre-conference symposium co-sponsored by CAPHIS will provide a compelling day of learning. Featured speakers include:

Geri Amori, senior director, The Risk Management and Patient Safety Institute, Shelburne, VT

Jim Conway, senior fellow, Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Cambridge, MA; senior consultant, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA; and board chair, Health Care Dimensions Hospice, Waltham, MA

Roxanne J. Goeltz, past president and cofounder, Consumers Advancing Patient Safety, Chicago, IL

Allen Vaida, executive director, Institute for Safe Medication Practices, Huntingdon, Valley, PA

CAPHIS programs are being sponsored by Scopus, Matthews Books and Swets Information Services. Please stop by their booths and thank them for their generous support.

The Patient Safety Symposium corporate sponsors include Thomson Gale, CINAHL, the National Patient Safety Foundation, Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine.




Matthews Medical Books

Matthews Medical Books: Let Our Employee-Owners Work for you.

    * Medical Librarians on staff to serve you

    * New Website design and functionality

    * Weekly e-mail notificaiton on the subject areas of your choice (consumer health, cancer, pediatrics, etc.)

    * Distributor of Doody's Core Titles in the Health Sciences

    * FEDLINK Vendor

    * Call Ashley White at 1-800-633-2665 x374 or e-mail for more information about our library services.



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A New Way to Educate your Patients: Thomson Gale Adds Video Library to Health and Wellness Resource Center

by Vanessa Giancamilli Birch, Thomson Gale Corporate Communications Manager

Thanks to a partnership between Thomson Gale and Healthology, Inc., more than 700 medical-related videos have been added to the Health and Wellness Resource Center.  Health and Wellness Resource Center is a fully integrated, ever-growing electronic resource center for all levels of health research.  It features health and medical encyclopedias, journals and pamphlets, articles form general-interest publications, instant access to key health Web sites and now, video. 

“Providing the public with current, accurate health and wellness information is something Thomson Gale takes very seriously,” said Gordon Macomber, president of Thomson Gale.  “Our Health and Wellness Resource Center points researchers, students, parents and anyone else needing to find reliable medical information to these up-to-date and relevant resources.  Healthology’s video content is another way for us to connect our customers to the resources they need, when they need them.”


Health and Wellness Resource Center subscribers can view Healthology video content covering over 60 therapeutic areas, such as oncology, rheumatology, neurology, and gastroenterology, at no additional cost.  Videos run approximately four minutes in length and are designed to engage, entertain and educate in news magazine formats.  All content is developed through a rigorous review process consisting of both internal and external medical or expert review.  Each video features biographies of the participants, which can include physicians, scientists, nurses, nutritionists, and fitness trainers along with patients, caregivers and advocates.  Full video transcripts and a large library of text resources also will be available as part of this new Healthology offering.  New content will be added each week.

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Family Resource Centers in Hospitals

by Christine Johnston,

Family Resource & Information Center, Children's Hospital & Research Center at Oakland, Oakland, CA

Consumer health libraries come in many shapes and sizes.  The Family Resource Center is one variation of a consumer health library that is often seen in pediatric hospitals.   The philosophy of family centered care—the belief that families are an integral part of health care decisions—motivates health care facilities to provide family-friendly space and dedicated expertise to support the information needs of families. 

Family Resource Centers in pediatric facilities range from a small, focused consumer health collection with a computer to spacious, welcoming centers with health information, computer and business services, concierge services, CPR training, sleeping rooms, kitchens, parent coffee hours and more.  Family Resource Centers may specialize in cancer, special needs or other health topics.  Others cover the range of medical topics typically encountered by a family at the hospital or health center.  The welcoming staff and assistance with health information can help give families a sense of control in an often unfamiliar and frightening experience. 


As much as Family Resource Centers offer to families in the hospital setting, they also offer much to the home institution.  They are one of a constellation of services that distinguishes a pediatric hospital from a general or a community hospital.  The specialized attention to the family’s greater needs seen in a Family Resource Center can be a powerful marketing tool for hospital administrations and foundations.

As the number of family resource centers has grown, the network of information available to support the managers of resource centers has also grown.  The preeminent organization that supplies information and guidance on family centered care for health care providers, the Institute for Family Centered Care, also provides help in creating Family Resource Centers.  Their publication, Creating and Enhancing Patient and Family Resource Centers, is literally a how-to manual for setting up a new resource center.  Their website ( contains further information.  

Family Resources Centers are often one-person operations.  Talking with someone else in a like-operation can offer huge moral support and enable easy benchmarking.  At our hospital, we rarely embark on any new service without benchmarking the service at other hospitals or resource centers.  Our informal networks have given us great information on more occasions than I can count. 

These informal contacts come in several ways.   In 1999, Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital hosted the First Conference of Family Resource Centers/Libraries.  In 2001, the Second Conference of Family Resource Centers took place at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.   The Healthcare Education Association in St. Louis in 2005 hosted a one-day session for Family Resource Center managers.  They plan to do the same for their 2006 Conference in September in Atlanta (  These conferences offer great opportunities for Family Resource Center folks to meet and discuss issues.  For those who cannot travel, there is a Google Groups list that allows member to share ideas.  The CAPHIS listserv top( is another resource that some find especially helpful.  Some fortunate Family Resource Center managers in metropolitan areas have formed informal, local groups that meet to discuss resources, programs, etc.

Family Resource Centers in pediatric hospitals offer a range of services that can empower families to work more confidently with health care providers and feel more comfortable in a hospital.  Comments from families offer a powerful testimony to the value of Family Resource Centers in pediatric hospitals.

“The FRC gave me some information about my child’s condition.  We came on Friday and he had emergency surgery on Saturday.  On Monday when the FRC was open I was able to get on the internet and with the help of the staff here I got invaluable info that helped me feel empowered and knowledgeable when talking to the doctor.  I felt I was part of the process instead of just a by-stander.  I slept better after feeling more in control.”

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The Librarian’s Role in Implementing a Patient Education System

By Amy Bayley, Library Manager,

In Hospital Branch, Stanford Health Library, Palo Alto, CA


In August 2004, Stanford Hospital implemented a customizable electronic patient education database. This paper presents a case study of the Stanford experience and reviews the expected benefits of an electronic patient education tool, criteria used in selecting the database, and the implementation process with a particular focus on the role of the hospital library in guiding and implementing the database.

Stanford Hospital, the primary teaching hospital for the Stanford School of Medicine, is a general acute care services and tertiary medical care facility. The hospital has over 600 beds, 2,400 medical and house staff, and 1,700 nursing staff that tend to over 20,000 in-patients per year and 40,000 emergency room visits.


The Stanford Health Library is a consumer health library providing scientifically-based medical information to help people make informed decisions about their health and health care. The library has three branches, one of which is located in the hospital, and this branch serves approximately 250 patients, family members, and hospital staff per month.

The process and decisions that follow were guided by the hospital’s interdisciplinary Patient Education Committee, which is co-chaired by the Health Library director and a nurse manager. Represented on this committee are a variety of nursing perspectives (medical/surgical, critical care, operating room, ambulatory services, etc.) and service areas (pharmacy, nutrition, social work, rehabilitation services), and the in-hospital librarian serves on the committee as well. This variety of membership is crucial to getting a range of feedback on possible changes, to make sure decisions would work across specialists, job titles, and locations.

With the advent of a customizable patient education database, the library’s influence on patient education has increased significantly. The library is the central repository for all patient education materials, which historically consisted of maintaining a master copy and central list of all patient education materials used in the hospital, and initiating unit reviews of material every three years to ensure currency. However, now, as the system administrator of the database, the librarian has helped facilitate communication between nurses to ensure consistency of materials and eliminate duplication where appropriate, has reviewed all documents for appropriate readability and language use, and has been responsible for ongoing training of staff. While the Patient Education Committee is the decision-making body and resolves all major questions, the Health Library is the entity in charge of the day-to-day needs of the database functioning and development.

The Fist Step: Self-assessment

Stanford Hospital’s first step in evaluating new patient education approaches was an assessment of the institution’s current situation and its vision for the future. The hospital focused on three elements:

1.      The current state of its patient education system

2.      Legal and regulatory requirements that must be met

3.      How patient education fits into corporate aspirations and vision


Assessing the current situation involves looking at both the system and its participants. Interestingly, Stanford already subscribed to an electronic database of generic patient education materials, but it was rarely used and many nurses did not know it existed, much less how to use it. Rather, the nursing staff relied primarily on triplicate forms or photocopied materials that had been written by Stanford staff. There was no coordinated plan for material development or dissemination. Each unit wrote what was necessary for its patient population, resulting in duplication of effort and potential inconsistency of information.

Understanding nurses’ attitudes towards patient education is crucial to implementing a system they will adopt. How do nurses currently see their role in patient education? Do they feel they have the appropriate skills and tools to successfully educate their patients? How does teaching fit into their workflow, including the need for documentation? Stanford found that not all nurses see patient teaching as part of their job, instead believing it is the purview of a certain sub-set of nurses. They were also, as noted above, unaware of resources at their disposal. Could different tools or systems help bring these nurses into a more active education role? If there is any frustration by the staff on these questions, it will undoubtedly be passed on to patients.

Patient perspectives are clearly an important measure of the quality of education. Do they feel they are given information in a timely manner? Is it in an accessible format that they can digest? Do they feel they will be capable of self-care when they leave the hospital? If they have questions after they have been discharged, do they know who to call? While patient satisfaction surveys at Stanford Hospital showed no specific weaknesses in education efforts, there is always room for improvement.

The second step of the self-assessment is a comprehensive look at relevant laws and regulations and ensuring that any future decisions meet those standards. Assuming the organization is currently in compliance, this is fairly straightforward. Awareness of Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization (JCAHO) regulations and patient safety goals, any state laws, professional organization standards, Magnet Hospital recommendations, etc., contributes not only to accreditation, but to a vision of the highest level of quality and service.


The last area of assessment, what the institution aspires to, elevates patient education to communicating the hospital’s corporate vision. It is an opportunity to consider how patient education contributes to the role the institution plays in the community and how it can contribute to management’s goals and objectives. The mission of Stanford Hospital and Clinics is, “To Care, To Education, To Discover.” As a teaching hospital, these values are open to many interpretations, but clearly education is one of the highest priorities of the hospital. Stanford Hospital also has a Commitment to Excellence objective, with excellence in quality and excellence in service. Patient education is easily recognized as part of the quality objective, but the service element must not be neglected. The personal touch provided by a nurse taking time to clearly and thoroughly prepare the patient and family for what lies ahead can radically affect the patient’s perspective of the institution. This is an excellent area for hospital libraries to provide leadership, since they may have one of the more firmly service-oriented outlooks in the organization.

Patient education is also an opportunity to focus on the brand and image of the institution. With many units and specialties developing their own materials to reflect their own standards of care, it can be difficult to maintain a unified, coherent approach reflecting the corporate brand. If patient education is not viewed internally as an expression of brand, it can easily be neglected, as was the case at Stanford. Patients were given handouts that had been photocopied to death, were askew on the page, had information scratched out and updated with handwritten notes, and squeezed so much text on one page as to be unreadable. Yet Stanford Hospital and Clinics is located in Silicon Valley, the pinnacle of technology, and has a reputation for cutting edge, state-of-the-art care and treatment. It has also taken great care in creating a welcoming environment with original artwork within the hospital and beautiful gardens and fountains outside. Unfortunately, the hospital’s patient education materials reflected neither the sophisticated technology nor the artistic focus expressed elsewhere in the hospital’s public image. This is where return on investment becomes not just about the financial costs of implementing a new patient education initiative, but about the return on showing patients across the board, at all points of contact, that the institution truly is on the cutting edge of quality and service. 

Benefits of an Electronic Patient Education Database

Stanford Hospital’s self-assessment concluded with the following priorities, and the belief that they would be best met by a customizable electronic patient education solution:

  • Consistent patient education materials across the continuum of care for all clinicians
  • Ability to incorporate specific patient data
  • Total control of content: ensure customization and currency·  
  • Share information between staff: reduce multiple efforts at creating materials·  
  • On-demand accessibility of materials·  
  • Presentation of a coherent, branded identity·  
  • Reduction of printing and storing hard copies of documents

Interdisciplinary cooperation and coordination are key elements of nursing at Stanford Hospital. To reflect this, the above priorities focus on accessibility, consistency, and customization. It is critical that patients receive consistent information throughout their stay—no matter whether they receive it before surgery, in a step-down unit, from a service department like Nutrition or Rehabilitation Services, or from a discharge nurse—and it needs to be the latest, most up-to-date material. To facilitate this, the same materials need to be accessible to the entire nursing and clinical staff, regardless of where they work in the hospital, and different departments need to know what information others are disseminating.


As an example of how important this can be, one surgeon at the hospital had two different versions of the same information/discharge sheet; one was on file in the surgery admission unit, the other was on the unit the patients went to after surgery. While the information was generally the same, one was more detailed than the other and they were formatted somewhat differently. A patient would easily be confused when presented with the two, and would have to compare them side-by-side to determine if there were any differences. And, most confusing, when they got to the end of the documents they would find two different contact numbers to call if they had questions after they were discharged. With the new patient education system the hospital chose, the librarian became the gatekeeper for all materials entered into the database and could thus identify and resolve these kinds of issues.

In the Stanford case, customization of content turned out to be critical to nursing buy-in. The hospital had subscribed for years to an electronic database of patient education materials, but it was not widely used in part because nurses felt the content was not relevant to specific protocols and standards at Stanford. Being able to customize generic documents and incorporate Stanford-generated materials increased confidence in the tool and made it much more relevant to the Stanford experience.

Establishing Criteria for an Electronic Patient Education Database

In addition to the above benefits, specific criteria need to be met by the electronic database in order to ensure compliance with regulatory standards and to meet larger institutional goals. The library is particularly well-suited to evaluating products against these criteria, since they are issues libraries face every day in providing consumers health information. Using the following criteria, the head librarian was the primary driver in reviewing several databases and recommending the one that best matched Stanford’s needs.

Content Requirements:

·   Range and depth of coverage: The database must cover all the hospital’s important specialties and cover them in the appropriate depth (neither getting more detailed than necessary nor glossing over important information).

·   Appropriate reading level: Standard practice is material written at a 5th-6th grade reading level, and it is important that documents not be too simplistic and talk down to patients, yet not be too complex, either.


·   Language and cultural sensitivity: The database must meet the culturally and linguistically diverse population served by the hospital, with materials that are not simply translated into different languages, but are adapted to the cultural factors that influence healthcare and compliance.

·   Presentation: Materials must be formatted for ease of reading for a variety of populations. As one example, California law requires that all patient education material be printed in 12-point font. If the institution has a large geriatric population, these kinds of considerations can have a great impact on patient’s ability to read them.

·   Customization: Given the volume of material the hospital already has based on Stanford expertise and practice, the database must be able to incorporate new data. Adding specific patient information and instructions is also a key component of customization.

Management Considerations:

·   Ease of use: The nursing staff represents a range of technological sophistication. Any new tool must be usable with minimal skill and training. Nurses’ time is precious, and training time takes away from patient care time.

·   Growth potential: Ideally, the database vendor has a track record of innovation and introducing new products or features that will grow with the hospital’s needs.

·   Branding options: The ability to incorporate hospital logos or other branding possibilities helps present a unified image to patients and families.



Implementing a new technology that the entire nursing staff will utilize can be a daunting task and requires close collaboration with the IT department and nursing. During the assessment and early planning stages, the entire Patient Education Committee played a large role in making decisions and guiding the process. However, once a vendor was selected, a core team consisting of the Health Library librarian, the IT project manager, and the co-chair of the Patient Education Committee, who is a nurse manager, became the primary drivers.

Information Technology (IT) Involvement

A strong IT project manager and project plan are needed well in advance of the actual rollout. Stanford Hospital has a substantial IT department, with stringent project planning and implementation guidelines, which the project manager facilitated with a larger IT staff. The project manager attended regular Patient Education Committee meetings to ensure clear communication of information.

IT has its own checklist that must be completed in evaluating and selecting a product. They must determine if the institutions servers and operating systems can handle the load and are compatible with the database. They must evaluate the budget required for the initial investment (including any new equipment or upgrades that are required) and for ongoing maintenance or technical support once the program is implemented. What kind of backup system needs to be in place if the network goes down? How will users get technical support? Stanford has an IT Help Desk that all employees access, so the Help Desk staff must be briefed and trained on the program so they can provide technical assistance 24 hours a day. And, IT and nursing must evaluate availability and reliability of computers for the clinical staff; if nurses do not have access to enough computers, they cannot be directed to an entirely electronic solution.

Working with Nursing

Hopefully the pre-assessment of the organization’s current state of patient education helped illuminate the nurses’ needs and any barriers to implementing an electronic solution. In addition to resolving resource issues such as having adequate computer terminals and printers on the units, providing a motivational hook can ease the transition and enhance buy in. These “marketing” efforts focused on key messages of being able to incorporate Stanford-generated documents, being able to access them from any computer in the hospital, and the unity of effort that would result. Members of the Patient Education Committee became champions of the project, creating buzz and building awareness throughout the hospital. The librarian met with all unit educators, one by one, to explain the benefits of the program and arrange for training of their staff.


Even if the nursing staff is enthusiastic about the concept, there is still the reality of training. Stanford generally follows the train-the-trainer approach, but also recognized that a variety of approaches were necessary to cover all bases. The preferred approach was for the librarian to train the unit educators, who would then be responsible for training their own staff. But the librarian also attended weekly or monthly meetings of unit or specialty nurses, or in-services called specifically for this purpose, and she always answered the phone when an individual called the library and asked for help. Some training sessions lasted an hour with a full PowerPoint presentation explaining the background of database selection and its big-picture benefits; others lasted 10 minutes and simply covered the basics of how to use the program. By preparing for these two ends of the spectrum, trainings could be customized to the time and interest needs of the audience.

The database vendor provided pre-printed training materials, but they did not reflect the priorities and functionality that were important to Stanford. Functions that would be used heavily at Stanford were only mentioned in passing, while others that were less important got top billing. Also, after a few training sessions, it became clear that many nurses had difficulty with a particular feature of the database, so explicit communication on that feature needed to be developed. Nurses also wanted a variety of documents to take with them as “cheat sheets” to help them after the training. Some wanted sheets they could tape next to their computer terminals; others wanted full-page sheets to put in reference binders; others wanted something they could laminate and keep in their pockets. To meet these needs, the librarian created a training template that could then be reformatted into a variety of layouts.

In spite of having a great product, communicating its benefits, and providing never-ending training, there will always be resistance. Some people will just never be comfortable using computers. Others are afraid of any kind of change, or feel that the new system does not fit into their work flow. Unit leadership plays a large role in how each unit adopts the new system. Units with managers who were not technologically savvy or felt they already had a strong system in place were slow to adopt. The library provided leadership in this area by advocating the benefits of the technology and, as noted, providing extensive training. The overall initial approach, however, was not to force anyone to use the computer to access patient education materials. Rather, the priority was that all Stanford-generated materials must be added to the database so that the entire hospital could benefit from their use. Within this goal, units were given flexibility to find the best solution for their staff. Some units gave their staff a specified period of time to get up and running on the new system, then removed all hard copies from the unit. Others, in recognition of the needs of their staff, designated one individual to maintain hard copy printouts from the database in files on the unit. This flexibility allowed the units to find their own way of complying, but still resulted in the elimination of the old forms and worn out photocopies.  


Conclusions: An Important New Role for the Library

It has been 20 months since the new patient education database was rolled out, and it is safe to say that managing it is a never-ending process. The librarian is still contacting departments and individuals who are not using the database, or not using it to its full extent, and new materials are constantly being entered. It is a dynamic system that expands to fill new needs, and the librarian has been able to use her networks throughout the hospital to bring in content from unexpected sources. As an example, the hospital’s Spiritual Care Services has written documents for patients and families from different cultures on death and dying rituals that they must follow. These are now being brought into the patient education database so that not only the Spiritual Care staff can access them from any computer in the hospital, but so that the nursing staff has access to them and can help enhance access to culturally sensitive materials. Another example is that the library is working with the hospital’s Interpreter Services to get all custom documents translated into the most commonly used languages in the hospital.

Being outside of the daily realities of patient care has been essential to managing the patient education system. The librarian is the one person on the Patient Education Committee with the time and resources to provide consistent, constant attention to the project, which was particularly important during the implementation phase. The librarian’s schedule is much more flexible than the nurses, and the librarian is generally easier to track down. The nurses are, literally, a moving target, without the ability to drop what they are doing and run out to train someone on the database at a moment’s notice. For approximately six months (three months on either side of the actual roll-out), the implementation accounted for almost 60% of the librarian’s time, and for a full year fluctuated from 20% to 50% with ongoing staff trainings and entering customized documents. This is a service few nurses or administrators have the ability to provide.


In addition to maintaining the database and providing continuing outreach, the librarian is charged with developing the necessary support systems for tracking and documenting content. A master spreadsheet of all customized documents, their authors, and revision dates was created. The librarian also monitors all database submissions for appropriate reading level, edits where needed, and resubmits to nursing for final approval.

Finally, inserting the Health Library as a major player in the hospital’s patient education system has been a boon for the library by creating stronger links to the nursing staff. The library always offered valuable services to nursing, including research, a strong nursing collection, and many patient services that could ease some of the load from nursing, but it was always a struggle to get the nurses’ attention to discuss these services. Yet once the librarian became the administrator of the patient education database, she became an important contact that the unit educators sought out because she was key to a central nursing role. This has enhanced the library’s standing as an authority in the hospital and has raised the library’s visibility. 

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MLA’s Leadership and Management Section: Recent History Reveals Growth and Dynamism

by Brian Bunnett, Chair, LMS Membership Committee

The Leadership and Management Section (LMS) is one of the largest and most active of the MLA’s 23 sections.  At its founding in 1948 the section was known as the Medical School Libraries Group.  It was established to provide medical school librarians more opportunities to discuss issues of common interest and concern. 

The Group was not particularly active at first – its only regularly scheduled activity was a luncheon or dinner held during the annual meeting of the MLA.  Some significant problems beset the Group at its inception, most notably a lack of visibility and focus.  The interests of the Medical School Libraries Group did not seem that much different from the interests of many of the MLA’s other sections and SIGs or from the Association of Academic Health Sciences Library Directors (AAHSLD). 


Largely to address this overlap with other sections and to create a more unique focus the Group was renamed the Leadership and Membership Section in 2000.  By doing so the LMS would no longer draw its members only from medical school libraries.  It also created a forum, where none existed before, solely dedicated to discussing the challenges of leadership and management.  The fact that there were 369 members in the section by 2005 suggests that this new direction has a broad appeal.

The growth of the LMS since 2000 is evident in this increase in its membership as well as in the varied resources it makes available to these members.  Foremost among these is its fine newsletter, The Leading Edge, that provides its readers with book reviews, short articles, case studies, and section news; the section’s listserv allows its subscribers to share information and network in a more casual forum.  The LMS also actively sponsors and contributes to grants designed to promote leadership and management.  Educational programs offered at MLA annual meetings have always been strength of the section.  LMS conviviality and social activities, another strength of the section, allow members numerous opportunities for further networking.

The LMS is similarly rich in its projects and initiatives.  Noteworthy in this area is its ambitious effort to advance the careers of middle managers.  The Task Force on Professional Development for Current and Aspiring Middle Managers (PDCAMM) recently surveyed over 900 medical librarians, including 400 middle managers, in order to identify how to best prepare this group for positions in upper management.

The LMS has evolved into a mature, active, even dynamic section with a well defined focus that appeals to many MLA members.  If you are interested in improving your management abilities and in advancing your career prospects then you will find that membership in the LMS will help you to realize your professional aspirations.


More information about the LMS is available on its Web page at  


Book Reviews

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Miller-Kovach, Karen.  Weight Watchers Family Power:  5 Simple Rules for a Healthy-Weight HomeForeword by Marc Jacobson, introduction by Meredith Vieira.  John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2005.  240 p. index.  ISBN:  13-978-0-471-77102-9  $22.95

Overweight children have become a major public health risk in the United States and a public health epidemic globally.  Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) show a significant rise in prevalence for this disease.  This figure has more than doubled in the past two decades, going from 7% in 1980 to 16% in 2002.  To help families cope with this growing and serious problem, the Chief Scientific Officer of Weight Watchers has produced a very readable and useful guide on how to achieve a healthy-weight home. Weight Watchers has been a leading proprietary weight-loss organization for adults for over 40 years and has recently begun to turn its attention to the weight management concerns of children and their families. The book’s central premise is that healthy-weight homes are created by following 5 basic rules.  With a focus on health and not diet, the rules comprise a common sense approach to creating and maintaining good eating habits, and take into account the unique nutritional needs of still-growing kids.  Clear explanations with plenty of examples and practical tips on how to incorporate change, step by small step, are presented throughout the book.  To be sure, the true worth of this text lies in its comprehensible and concise information about how change happens (there is an excellent overview of the Stages of Change Model) that should help parents gain valuable insight into how change occurs so they, in turn, can teach change to their kids.  The book also explains how kid’s diets are different than and provides concrete examples for what doesn’t work, and perhaps more importantly, what does work to help them make the needed changes.  Although the book targets parents, older kids should find the support and structure they need for making weight loss happen within these pages. Finally, this book should be especially helpful to the many parents who continue to grapple with the poor nutritional habits they learned in their own youth by providing answers and guidance on how to stop dieting and start eating well.  This book is highly recommended for all consumer health and public library collections.


Reviewed by: Gail Y. Hendler, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York, NY

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London, Melissa (illustrated by Eric Glickman).  The Gluten Free Kid: a Celiac Disease Survival GuideWoodbine House, 2005. [60 p.]. ISBN 1-890627-69-0. $14.95.

Written and illustrated by the parents of a child diagnosed with celiac disease, the main subject of this book is food!  As the book is intended for children, this aspect of living with celiac disease is likely to be the most important to them.  The Gluten Free Kid is narrated by Paris, an 11 year old girl.  It gives her account of what it’s like to have celiac disease, and is accompanied by numerous large black and white illustrations.  She gives an overview of this condition; however much of the book consists of her advice to other children. The tone of the book is positive and supportive as Paris focuses on the many kinds of foods she can eat.  She provides other children with various suggestions of how to explain celiac disease to both friends and those that are curious about her dietary restrictions.  There are tips for eating at restaurants, going to birthday parties and sleepovers, and traveling on vacation, and a group of websites from which gluten free foods can be ordered is included.  Paris also emphasizes the importance of reading food labels to determine their ingredients and provides lists of allowed and forbidden ingredients.  She gives cautionary advice regarding not eating foods whose ingredients cannot be clearly discerned.  Recipes for gluten free dishes and a list of resources (organizations, books, magazines, websites, and gluten free summer camps) complete the book.  The Gluten Free Kid, written for children 8 years and older, is recommended for children’s health collections. 

Reviewed by: Deborah Magnan, Samuel and Sandra Hekemian Medical Library, Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack, NJ  


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Connor, Elizabeth, MLS, AHIP.  Internet Guide to Travel Health.  The Haworth Information Press, 2004. 150p. index. ISBN 0-7890-1824-1. $14.95

Elizabeth Connor, an internationally based librarian and professor, has created a comprehensive guide for business and vacation travelers wishing to research travel health issues.  The book includes a glossary, clear screen shots of many websites, a list of recommended print resources, advice on evaluating web content and search tips.  Chapters recommend websites for pretravel planning, issues and concerns (e.g., children traveling alone, disabilities, etc.) and diseases, conditions and ailments (28 are covered, ranging from air rage to yellow fever).  Coverage is largely U.S. , but scope includes North America, Europe and Australia . The author writes concise, succinct abstracts for at least two sites in each category that inform users who produce the website and how it can help them.  Well known sites, such as CDC, FDA and MedlinePlus are well represented, but this guide shines in introducing sites from a wide variety of organizations and individuals, such as the Fear of Flying Clinic and the Aviation Health Institute.   Connor includes noteworthy .com sites, including ones selling travel insurance.  A helpful Interactive Tools section includes weather and traffic sites.  The full text section, while a good idea, would have been better integrated into other chapters with a symbol to denote full text; users may not want to read through this entire chapter if they are only looking for one topic.   All in all, travelers who are Internet savvy will find more user-friendly information with this guide than the CDC’s book Health Information for International Travel, and it’s even compact enough to fit in a traveler’s handbag.

Reviewed by: Cara Helfer, Chief Librarian and Program Manager, Kessler Health Education Library, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA


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Burns, David D. When Panic Attacks: the New Drug-Free Anxiety Therapy That Can Change Your Life. Broadway Books, 2006. 431p. $24.95. ISBN 0-7679-2071-6

David Burns’ (Stanford University School of Medicine) Feeling Good: the New Mood Therapy changed the face of self-help for depression and his new book When Panic Attacks: the New Drug-Free Anxiety Therapy That Can Change Your Life promises to do the same for anxiety.

Burns highlights compelling research that points to Cognitive Behavior Therapy as the most effective treatment for depression and anxiety. He guides the reader through new cognitive behavior therapies to defeat fears and overcome anxiety without drugs or lengthy therapy.  The techniques facilitate a transformation in the thought process that enables the reader to conquer their anxieties whether struggling with feelings of inferiority, battling fears of flying, or suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

The book is reader-friendly -- divided into five sections including those devoted to each of the therapy models: cognitive model, exposure model, and hidden emotion model. Chapters include vignettes of sample case histories as well as written exercises for the reader.  Checklists, tables, and worksheets with step-by-step directions illustrate the material. The final section of the book guides the reader in selecting the techniques best suited to them.

Highly recommended for consumer health and public libraries.

Reviewed by: Gillian Kumagai, Stanford Health Library, Palo Alto, CA


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Narins, Brigham (ed). The Gale Encyclopedia of Genetic Disorders – 2nd ed.   Detroit:Thomson-Gale, 2005. 1419pp.  ISBN 1-4144-0365-8.  hardback $340.00. 

The complexities of genetic diseases, traits, and conditions are demystified for the layperson in the second edition of the Gale Encyclopedia of Genetic Disorders. The two volume set offers readers an inclusive work spanning well known to rare disorders.  Entries on core concepts such as chromosomes, genetic testing, and genetic counseling aid the reader in establishing a solid foundation--unraveling some of the intricacies of genetics.

The more than 430 alphabetically arranged entries are augmented by 200 color illustrations including photographs, chromosome maps, and pedigree charts documenting biological relationships in families and the presence of disorders. An advisory board of genetic specialists reviewed the entries, all of which are authored and signed by genetic counselors, clinicians, and medical writers.

The familiar standardized format of the entries breaks down rich material into digestible components: definition, description, genetic profile, demographics, signs and symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and management, prognosis, and key terms. Bolded terms and extensive cross-references guide the reader to related information. Each entry is completed with a list of book and periodical resources as well as organizations and websites that facilitate further information gathering, advocacy, and support. The second volume concludes with a directory of organizations and a glossary. Entries have been updated from the previous edition.

The oft intimidating subject of genetics is presented through approachable content in a well-organized format making this set a solid addition to public and consumer health libraries alike.

Reviewed by: Gillian Kumagai, Stanford Health Library, Stanford, CA


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Cristian, Adrian.  Lower Limb Amputation: A Guide to Quality Life.  New York : Demos Medical Publishing, 2006.  xi, 132 p.  Softcover.  ISBN 1-932603-24-7.  $19.95 US.

According to the author, a physician experienced with amputees and rehabilitation at veterans’ and other hospitals, several hundred thousand amputations are performed in the U.S. each year, many due to complications from diabetes or poor circulation in the legs.   

Reasons for leg amputations and precautions to prevent surgery of a remaining limb are covered briefly, but the book focuses on actual amputations and their aftermath.  Simple, non-threatening descriptions of below-the-knee (BKA) and above-the-knee (AKA) amputations are accompanied by black and white line drawings.  The chapters on post-surgical care and rehabilitation include bandaging illustrations and emphasize wound healing and importance of strengthening all the body’s muscles for improved mobility.  Prosthetic components and styles are explained clearly, the latter depending on each individual’s needs and anticipated activity level.  A subsequent chapter details the challenges of learning to walk with a prosthesis, mechanisms of movement, and how to identify problems with the residual limb or with poorly fitting equipment.  Other short sections cover working with the rehabilitation team, preparing one’s home for daily living, watching for skin infections, controlling pain, and beginning to cope with the emotional aspects of a major change in one’s life and lifestyle.  There is even a chapter on how to choose and participate in sports again.  The following special populations are discussed:  frail amputees, bilateral amputees, and children.  The book provides an index, short glossary and reference list, and URL’s for major organizations supporting amputees and their rehabilitation.

This text is at a high school reading level, partly due to the many technical terms, but it is easy to read and well illustrated, useful to both patients and their families.  The tone is consistently upbeat and matter-of-fact, with emphasis on working with the rehab team, building strength, and returning to daily activities. Lower Limb Amputation would be very helpful to someone facing this surgery or to one who has recently had an amputation.  It is recommended for both public libraries and consumer health collections. 

Reviewed by: Nancy Crossfield, Owen Medical Library, Saint Agnes Medical Center Fresno, CA.


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Severin, Sanford L, and Todd D. Severin. TriEnergics: Balancing Nutrition, Exercise & Mindfulness for Lasting Wellness. Oakland, CA : New Harbinger, 2005. ISBN: 1572244453

TriEnergetics, Balancing Nutrition, Exercise & Mindfulness for Lasting Wellness, is an updated version of the book by father-son doctors Sanford and Todd Severin.  While Western medicine tends to have a disease-oriented approach to health, this book, which is presented as a balanced lifestyle plan, incorporates elements of nutrition, exercise and mindfulness into a six week “how to” program whose emphasis is on creating individual wellness.  It includes workbook pages for the reader to fill in as they progress, thereby creating a mindful approach to the program and a record of change.

The authors inject a sense of energy into the book through a series of vignettes that highlight examples of health and lifestyle turnarounds by people who had failed at such attempts in the past.  The book’s emphasis is on the simplicity of the program, and it is truly not complicated, especially as presented. The Severin’s seem to understand that you get more bees with honey, and they keep the tone of the book open and inviting.

Divided into two parts, (Part 1, Fuel for Motivation) the authors spend much more than half of the book educating the reader on the basic elements of good health and the program. Beginning with exercise, they return again and again to the fact that exercise should be fun, not drudgery nor grueling hard work. The tone is inspirational, not finger wagging and filled with woeful predictions. As they move from exercise and diet changes to the negative effects of stress, they encourage the reader with a sense that these are all burdens we carry and that as such, they can be set down at any time for a renewed sense of health.

Part 2, The TriEnergetics Program, is the “how to” part of the book that literally walks the reader through a six week program with the reiterated emphasis on the three parts of the program  -- body, mind, and nourishment – being integrally intertwined for finding the healthful balance we all need in life.  Before starting the program there is a fairly complete “self-history” for the reader to answer that includes questions about current lifestyle, weight profile, nutrition profile and exercise habits.  At this point the “mindfulness” part of the program has begun. There is nothing radical or extreme about the book, the emphasis is on gradual change with an increase of awareness of what the reader is doing with his/her body as they move through their daily life and the incorporation of healthful habits of eating, exercise and meditation. If you can’t get away to a spa for six weeks to start a new health plan, this book is a great tool for demonstrating that we all have the tools for change within ourselves. Recommended for public and consumer health libraries.

Reviewed by: Gail Kouame, Consumer Health Coordinator, National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Pacific Northwest Region, Seattle, WA.


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Carey, Anthony B. The Pain-Free Program: A Proven Method to Relieve Back, Neck, Shoulder, and Joint Pain. Wiley, 2005. 254p. index. ISBN 0-471-68720-0. $15.95

The pain-free program,  by biomechanical consultant, exercise physiologist and founder of “Function First, Inc.”, Anthony Carey MA CSCS CES, takes your mother’s nag “Stop slouching and sit up straight!” to a whole new level. I applaud Mr. Carey for the long-overdue attempt to bring back (or forward) the “good posture” message, that he’s updated and applied to the weekend and armchair athlete, extreme sport enthusiast, and chronic pain sufferer.

Beginning with Anatomy 101, Carey expertly explains how our bodies are designed to function and how inevitably the toll of everyday living and working can literally twist, stretch and bend us out of shape. Carey is calling on us to wake up and notice how we live in our bodies each day, blaming much of the pain in our lives on the resulting musculoskeletal misalignment. Poor posture affects altered patterns of movement thereby decreasing flexibility and range of motion.

Based on an initial self-assessment of our body form and our lifestyle Carey’s therapeutic approach is a carefully planned exercise regime designed to balance, align, strengthen and stabilize our bodies.  Strengthening weakened core muscles and working the opposing muscles, he maintains we can effectively reverse the damage done by injury, work and neglect, getting back on the road to a pain-free life. He distinguishes between “functional” and “non-functional” exercises with “Function First” being his trade mark. While other therapies may focus on one muscle group and passive treatment, here you have a whole body approach, addressing the full-range of pain sources and requiring active participation. Carey does admit that realizing a pain-free outcome is not for the uncommitted.

Based on ten years of observation and work in the field, Carey stresses the importance of proper assessment, guidance and training; stating that the wrong exercise may be worse than no exercise and that not all “personal trainers” are created equal.

Further information, the first chapter free online, charts of the 6 Body Forms, a companion DVD, etc. are available at Mr. Carey’s websites:  and .

Reviewed by: Ann Celestine, HealthLink – Kitchener Public Library, Kitchener ON Canada


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Redmond, Geoffrey, M.D. The Hormonally Vulnerable Woman. ReganBooks, 2005. 453p. ISBN 0-06-082553-7. $25.95.

Geoffrey Redmond, M.D., an endocrinologist and founder and director of the Hormone Center of New York, has written a book for women who are affected by changes in body-regulating hormone’s more intensely than normal- referred to by Dr. Redmond as the “hormonally vulnerable woman.” He espouses a middle-way practice of medicine, which is a combination of traditional medicine, alternative and complementary therapies, and spiritual approaches.  Hormonal fluctuations, and their ensuing ramifications, have not been well understood or appreciated by the medical community. Often, changes in hormones are manifested in problems such as mood swings, inability to concentrate, a lowered interest in sex, and decreased energy level. Changes in skin and hair can become apparent, most notably hair loss. While these changes might not be considered “life threatening,” they can greatly affect a woman’s quality of life and feelings of satisfaction. Dr. Redmond’s book offers encouragement and advice for individualized treatment for those women who have an increased sensitivity to their own hormonal changes. The book is divided into seven parts- recognizing the possibility of being hormonally vulnerable; menstrual issues such as the cycle, birth control and PMS; hormones that cause pain such as fibromyalgia and migraines; testosterone and sexuality; skin care and hair loss; menopause, bone health and hormone replacement therapy; and spiritual health. Each of the twenty-eight chapters offers tables or sidebars that help to focus the reader on the main points to consider in the text. Recommended for consumer health and public library collections.

Reviewed by: Elizabeth K. Hill, University of Idaho Library, Moscow, Idaho


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Gilletz, Norene.  The Low Iodine Diet Cookbook:  Easy and Delicious Recipes & Tips for Thyroid Cancer Patients.  Your Health Press, 2005.  317p. recipe index. ISBN 1-4120-6691-3

The book’s introduction is written by Dr. Kenneth B. Ain, a thyroid oncologist.  He describes the low iodine diet and explains its use by thyroid cancer patients who need to limit dietary iodine prior to and during radioactive iodine treatment or scans.  Dr. Ain writes meticulously, and includes references to the professional literature within the text.  He purposefully addresses the patient, while encouraging their physicians to also read the references.  Part One consists of chapters on shopping for allowable foods, meal planning, and eating out.  Part Two contains the recipes.  There are chapters on Breakfasts, Lunches, Dinners, Desserts, Snacks, and Children’s Menu. The recipes are practical and familiar, and contain reasonable numbers and types of ingredients.    Helpful tips are also included.   Examples of recipes are:   pizza potato skins, saucy lemon zucchini, grilled London broil, pineapple sherbet, and avocado guacamole.  The final chapter is a Nutrition Analysis Chart.  It provides nutrition information on low iodine foods, including calories, fat (saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated), fiber, sugars, and sodium.  The author, Norene Gilletz, has written six other cookbooks.  She does a very good job of providing thorough and understandable directions, along with a good selection of recipes.  This book’s publisher specializes in consumer health issues with a small market.  I would recommend this book for a cancer or large general consumer health library.

Reviewed by: Linda King, MLS, AHIP, Carlson Health Sciences Library, University of California Davis, Davis, California


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Cafiero, Joanne M.  Meaningful Exchanges for People with Autism: An Introduction to Augmentative & Alternative Communication.  Woodbine House, 2005.174 p. index, bibliography, resource guide, glossary.  ISBN 1-890627-44-5. $17.95

This overview of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is intended for parents and educators who work with autistic people and others with significant receptive and expressive communication deficits.  After asserting that communication is a right and a necessity for participation in the family, classroom, or community, Dr. Cafiero briefly describes both low tech and high tech tools, from simple picture wallets to sophisticated programmable voice output devices, and uses illustrations and examples to demonstrate how they can be employed in everyday communication.  A useful chapter on AAC and the law explains who must pay for AAC equipment purchase, training, and repair, while a review of three popular communication assessment tools helps families and educators understand how appropriate AAC is selected for the individual student and integrated into family and school life.

The author is an experienced AAC consultant, teacher, and researcher.  Because assistive technology in general and communication strategies with autistic children in particular is such a fast-developing field, this slim book provides a needed entry point for parents trying to help their children learn functional communication.  The 12th grade reading level and frequent use of acronyms will be a challenge for some readers, but the use of case examples, the Q&A sections, and the tables and illustrations help to relieve the technical jargon.

Reviewed by: Brenda R. Pfannenstiel, MALS, MA, AHIP, Children’s Mercy Hospitals & Clinics, Kansas City, MO


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Nolen-Hoeksema, Susan. Eating, Drinking, Overthinking:  The Toxic Triangle of Food, Alcohol, and Depression - And How Women Can Break FreeHenry Holt, 2006 (uncorrected proof).  (229p.) $24.00. ISBN 0-8050-7710-3.

This is Nolen-Hoeksema’s second work on women’s mental health issues written for consumer health collections. Eating, Drinking, Overthinking is about the toxic triangle, a dangerous space in which the three named behaviors converge.  Although binge eating, drinking too much, and overthinking are each unhealthy behaviors, the author’s studies have shown that a combination of two or all three behaviors increases health risks.  Research findings also support the view that biological and psychosocial factors account for women’s tendencies to self-focus and overthink, while men are more likely to move from negative thoughts and feelings to outwardly focused thinking that solves problems. 

The author uses fictitious case studies to illustrate how overthinking and self-focusing overwhelm a woman and leave her feeling helpless and hopeless about finding relief from negative feelings.  The book includes strategies that deal with maladaptive behaviors.  Mindfulness, keeping a diary, and use of approach goals are activities that allow a woman to keep herself from drifting helplessly into the toxic triangle. 

Even though overthinking is presented as a strength that women possess, its use as a negative label for women (Women Who Think Too Much by Nolen-Hoeksema, 2003) may outweigh the insights it represents.  Like Women Who Love Too Much, it may cast a negative light on a particular woman’s way of being. 

It is refreshing that the author acknowledges the effect her dire scenarios may have on readers. Libraries that have her first book may want to wait for Nolen-Hoeksema’s next contribution to women’s mental health issues. 

Reviewed by: Susan Roosth , Resource Center of Dallas, Phil Johnson Historic Archives and Research Library, Dallas TX 


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Liebmann-Smith, Joan, Ph.D.;  Egan, Jaqueline Nardi ; Stangel, John  J., M.D. The Unofficial Guide to Getting Pregnant by Wiley Publishing, 2006. 430 p. index. ISBN 0-7645-9550-4 $18.99

A well-organized “how-to book … that will guide you through the many reproductive treatment choices to maximize your chances of having a child of your own.” The authors are a medical sociologist, a medical journalist, and a board certified specialist in reproductive medicine.

Basic information details the mechanics of conception, choosing the right doctor, fertility drugs, surgical procedures, and the emotional aspects of infertility. Third party reproduction techniques such as sperm and egg donation, surrogacy and gestational carriers are also covered. Extensive discussion about assisted reproductive technologies, including in vitro fertilization (IVF), gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT), Zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT), improved cryopreservation techniques, assisted hatching, embryonic stem cells, and cloning make this a state-of-the art resource. Often neglected information on financial concerns and insurance issues is provided.  Extensive appendices include a state-by-state infertility insurance coverage chart updated in June 2005, an informative glossary, a sample genetic testing flow sheet, and a list of resources.

This guide has numerous sidebars that provide information on money saving ideas, common pitfalls to avoid, and quotes from patients and physicians. The “just the facts” section at the end of each chapter provides a succinct summary of the most important facts, allowing the reader to skim the contents while still gaining adequate knowledge.

Clear, concise line drawings expand upon the consumer-oriented text. Although the text is not over-simplified, this resource will be a valuable addition to consumer health collections in all types of libraries.

Reviewed by: Dee Jones, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Shreveport.


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Shalts, Edward, MD, DHt. The American Institute of Homeopathy Handbook for Parents: A Guide to Health Treatment for Everything from Colds and Allergies to ADHD, Obesity, and Depression. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2005. 365p. index, bibliography, resources. ISBN 0-7879-8033-1. $16.95.

Homeopathy has, for much of the prior century, had at best a mixed reputation. In this book, Dr. Shalts may very well break through any lingering prejudice by providing an informed and expert introduction into the principles and practice of homeopathy in the context of modern medicine. At every point, Dr. Shalts emphasizes the safest ways in which homeopathy and traditional medicine can be responsible partners in the management of acute and chronic childhood health concerns. Dr. Shalts, as a faculty member of Beth Israel Medical Center certified in both family medicine and psychiatry and a homeopathic practitioner for over 20 years, is well positioned to describe and reconcile the differences between allopathic and integrative medical approaches, and to offer reasonable and sympathetic suggestions for families to discuss options with their healthcare team.

Dr. Shalts discusses an astonishing range in these nine chapters, in an engaging manner with easy to read language. The important concepts are illustrated with case studies that describe treatment, management, and communication. The first four chapters serve as a valuable introduction to homeopathy for almost anyone, not just parents or families, and describe when to choose homeopathic or allopathic medicine. The second section describes what is needed for home treatment, with specifics for the most common acute conditions, such as colds or influenza, and when a patient should see a doctor. The third and final section offers an introduction to Dr. Shalts' area of special expertise -- "Treating Chronic Mental Health and Physical Problems."

Recommended for collections of consumer health, CAM, and personal or home collections.

Reviewed by: Patricia F. Anderson, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigantop


Publication Information

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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.


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Vol. 22 No. 1 2006 
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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