ISSN 1535-7821 Vol. 23 No. 4 2007
Submitted by: Howard Fuller, firstname.lastname@example.org, The Stupski Foundation, Mill Valley, CA.
Patient Education and Consumer Health Libraries: Collaborating for Improved Patient Care, a CE Symposium at this year’s MLA Annual Meeting in Chicago, presents compelling evidence and case studies of consumer library implementation and the role collaboration plays in improved outcome for both patient education and consumer health education for health promotion, disease management, patient safety, and scientific literacy. In essence, librarians (academic, public, or hospital) + clinicians and health educators, working together = improved patient and consumer health, health care, and health literacy.
Those already well versed in consumer health information services and health literacy will gain valuable ideas for approaching leadership in their own organizations to discuss the compelling merits of healthcare provider and librarian collaboration for improved communication, and increased consumer/patient satisfaction.
The keynote for this program, "Deliver the Best Patient Care through Partnerships with Patient Education and Consumer Health Libraries," will be delivered by David Baker, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University; and Chief, General Internal Medicine, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL.
Other featured speakers include: Elaina Cundiff, MPH, Manager of MD Anderson's The Learning Center; Mindwell Egeland, MLS, Director of the Patients' Library, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics; Mary Gillaspy, MLS, MS, Manager of the Health Learning Centers at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago; Martin Morris, Ph.D., Vice President and Chief Development Officer of the Salem and West Valley Hospital Foundations, Salem, OR; Magdalyn Patyk, MS, RN, Program Manager for Patient Education, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, Judy Rycombel, Librarian, Arlington Heights Memorial Library; Holly Trandel, BA, Program Coordinator, Health Learning Center at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago; and Barbara Bibel, MLA, MA, and current CAPHIS chair, Oakland Public Library, Oakland, CA.
Further information about this symposium and MLA 2008 is available at http://www.mlanet.org/am/am2008/ce/800.html.
Submitted by Terri Ottosen, CAPHIS Secretary and Consumer Health Outreach Coordinator for the National Networks of Libraries of Medicine, Southeastern Atlantic Region, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Health Sciences and Human ServicesLibrary
The Consumer and Patient Health Information Section held an electronic election using Survey Monkey the week of January 7 – 11, 2008. Two offices were open; Chair-Elect and Treasurer. Both candidates ran unopposed and both were elected to the positions. Of the 400+ members on the membership list of CAPHIS, 155 votes were collected for a return rate of approximately 39%. For Chair-Elect, Ysabel Bertolucci received 99.3% of the vote, with one write-in candidate vote. For Treasurer, Gillian Kumagai received 98.7% of the vote, with two write-in candidate votes.
Ysabel R. Bertolucci is Manager of Library Services for the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Oakland, California. She has been active in MLA activities for years primarily in her chapter, Northern California and Nevada and in the Nursing and Allied Health Resources Section. According to Ysabel, she joined CAPHIS in 1993 to learn more about Consumer Health after meeting Barbara Bibel, our current chair. She relates that Barbara cajoled her into team teaching classes in health information searching for the public library and consumers and she’s now hooked. She ran as the MLA Nominating Committee candidate from CAPHIS this year and was elected. During a Channukkah brunch, Howard Fuller and Barbara Bibel talked her into running for Chair, knowing that her years of experience in MLA would be a great addition to our section. She looks forward to this new opportunity and hopes members will contact her with their ideas and thoughts. Ysabel.email@example.com
Gillian Kumagai is the Librarian at the Stanford Health Library, Cancer Center Branch in Stanford, California. She is the webmaster for the section’s website and has been working hard on re-designing the site, which includes standardizing the design elements and removing old content and dead links. She has also posted the revised CAPHIS Top 100 list with updated links and posted all electronic back issues of Consumer Connections, the section newsletter. If you've not yet had a chance to look at the newly designed site, please do so. It's now visually appealing and much easier to navigate. As an active member of CAPHIS and newly-elected Treasurer, we welcome her energy and enthusiasm. firstname.lastname@example.org
Congratulations to both of the newly elected CAPHIS officers!
Submitted By: Colette Hochstein, D.M.D., MLS (Colette@nlm.nih.gov), Division of Specialized Information Services, NLM.
The Division of Specialized Information Services (SIS, http://sis.nlm.nih.gov/) at the National Library of Medicine (NLM) creates information resources and services in toxicology, environmental health, chemistry, and HIV/AIDS. Another component of SIS, the Office of Outreach and Special Populations, seeks to improve access to quality and accurate health information by underserved and special populations. Many SIS products help to address the toxicology and environmental health information needs of the general public.
Dietary Supplements Labels Database http://dietarysupplements.nlm.nih.gov
The National Library of Medicine has released a new resource focused on dietary supplements. The Dietary Supplements Labels Database http://dietarysupplements.nlm.nih.gov includes information from the labels of over 2,000 brands of dietary supplements in the marketplace, including vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, and other specialty supplements.
The database is designed to help both the general public and health care providers find information about ingredients in brand-name products, including name, form, active and inactive ingredients, amount of active ingredient/unit, manufacturer/distributor information, suggested dose, label claims, warnings, percentage of daily value, and further label information.
Links to other NLM resources, such as MedlinePlus and PubMed, are provided for additional health information. In addition, links to related Fact Sheets from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM ), and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) are also available.
WISER 3.0 Is Now Available for Windows Mobile Smartphone
WISER 3.0 for Windows Mobile Smartphone can now be downloaded at http://wiser.nlm.nih.gov
WISER plans further capabilities in future releases, including additional substance category support (with more categories), additional tools/reference materials for radiologicals and chemicals, and biological mode (biological substance list and related tools and reference materials).
Carcinogenic Potency Database (CPDB) Now Accessible via TOXNEThttp://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?CPDB.htm
CPDB, the Carcinogenic Potency Database, was developed by the Carcinogenic Potency Project at the University of California, Berkeley, and by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. It reports analyses of animal cancer tests on 1547 chemicals. Results for each chemical are now searchable via the National Library of Medicine (NLM) Toxicology Data Network (TOXNET®). http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/
CPDB includes 6540 chronic, long-term animal cancer tests (both positive and negative for carcinogenicity) from the general published literature as well as from the National Cancer Institute and the National Toxicology Program. Such tests are used in support of cancer risk assessments for humans. Information that is important in the interpretation of bioassays is reported in CPDB for each experiment.
Users can search for results on each chemical in TOXNET via chemical name or name fragment, or by Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number (RN). Results include a summary for each sex-species tested, including carcinogenicity, target organs, and carcinogenic potency values. Detailed results from each experiment on the particular chemical are given in a plot format suitable for screen viewing. Chemical structure, InChI (http://www.iupac.org/inchi/), and SMILES codes (http://www.daylight.com/smiles/) are reported.
CPDB is also available in several formats that combine results for all chemicals, including summary tables and formats that can be read into statistical databases. Links to these are available via TOXNET, on the CPDB support page "Overview" (http://potency.berkeley.edu/).
According to the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, celiac disease affects at least 3 million Americans. This book, Ahern's first, is a personal recounting of her life and diet before and after her celiac diagnosis in May 2005. But really this is a book about food. The author's passion and vitality make this a fascinating read. However, parts of the book get repetitive as the author reiterates repeatedly how happy she is that she was diagnosed as a celiac as it has forced her to live her life differently.
To truly understand this book, it is first necessary to a have a sense of how the author, Shauna James Ahern, views food. The following quote is taking from the introduction on her blog, http://glutenfreegirl.blogspot.com, and describes the relationship her and her now-husband, the Chef, have with food.
We live in food. Food, to us, is sensuality and texture, kindness and laughter, being alive and in love. Roasted potatoes with sea salt. Cinnamon-walnut scones. Crispy pork belly. Mixed green salads with champagne vinaigrette. Pizza with prosciutto, chanterelle mushrooms, and goat cheese. Fig cookies. Scrambled eggs with truffle salt. Sautéed black kale. Shaved fennel with lemon. One crisp apple.
While the intended audience for this book is adults, it would be equally appropriate for teenage readers, especially if they require or choose a gluten-free diet and are just starting to cook for themselves. This book is well-suited to foodies and people who are trying to cope with a severely restrictive diet. While geared specifically towards gluten-free living, the support and tips that Ahern offers will also be inspiring and useful for others, e.g. people with severe food allergies. These tips include reading between the lines of food labels and how to cope with dining in a restaurant, family gatherings, and travel.
Reviewed by: Mindy Thuna, University of Toronto Mississauga Library, Mississauga, ON, Canada.
Anderson, S.R., Jablonski, A.L., Thomeer, M.L., & Knapp, V.M. Self-Help Skills for People with Autism: A Systematic Teaching Approach. Bethesda, MD: Woodbine House, 2007. 187p. ISBN: 978-1-890627-41-6.
This is another title in the well-received series Topics in Autism; the publisher, Woodbine House, specializes in books for families with special-needs children. The authors are psychologists and behavior analysts with directly relevant and immediate professional experience; all are staff members with Summit Educational Resources, a facility providing services to developmentally disabled children and young adults.
The focus is, of course, self-help; the activities of daily life and daily self-care that will foster independence as the child grows older. In the first chapters of the book, the authors’ teaching process is detailed, from identification of the target skill (dressing, personal hygiene, eating, and toileting) through monitoring progress, through eventual achievement of the goal. Case studies illustrate each of the target skills discussed; and worksheets/checklists are provided for parents and caregivers to use to structure the family’s learning experience with a lesson plan, and understand the incremental gains using a task analysis data sheet. Appendices provide a comprehensive self-help inventory, tips for troubleshooting common problems, readiness skills, and education on the writing of instructional plans.
The authors advise that the techniques presented in this book are useful across the age and autism spectrum, including Asperger’s, although the specific case studies presented are of children from three to their teens who are individuals with varying degrees of developmental disability in classic autism.
Self-Help Skills uses an engaging format to educate the reader; the text is consumer-friendly and accompanied by easy-to-understand tables, sidebars and many useful worksheets. This reviewer recommends that libraries acquiring this title make sure their photocopiers are in good working order!
Reviewed by: Catherine Arnott Smith, University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Library and Information Studies.
This book, part of the For Dummies series, is devoted to the explanation and exploration of acupressure and reflexology. Written by a massage and bodywork therapist and a professional writer, sections discuss the basics and history of the therapies, the importance of emotional and physical wellness, and specific concerns and options for women, chronic conditions, and prevention of illness. Also addressed are misconceptions regarding these modalities and when to call in a professional. Illustrations are small in size but are related to the written content. The book, however, lacks information on evidence-based research on the efficacy of the treatments.
An appendix is added which highlights websites that provide more information, professional organizations, training centers, and books on mind-body medicine. Step by step instructions are given for consumers to work on these techniques to assist with the treatment of common ailments including back pain, fibromyalgia, muscle cramps, varicose veins and the like. Specific important tips are recognized by an arrow in a bull’s eye, and Chinese terms are bolded with definitions included in the text.
This book should be used as an adjunct to other mind-body healing techniques books and resources housed in the consumer health library.
Reviewed by: Carol Ann Attwood, MLS, MPH, RN,C, Patient and Health Education Library.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health Information for International Travel 2008. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 2007. 627p. Index. ISBN-13: 978-0-323-04885-9. $24.95.
Popularly known as the "Yellow Book", this latest expanded and updated edition is an excellent ready reference handbook for globe-trotters and healthcare professionals alike, produced and edited by the staff of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and published in partnership with Elsevier. The book is now readily available for purchase in bookstores and online.
This 2008 compilation more than adequately serves its purpose to provide travel health and medicine information at home and abroad and is comprehensive, reliable to current knowledge, user-friendly, and superior in comparison to like compilations I have previously used. The work provides useful maps, well-selected references, and a good general index. The writing style and reading level does cater more to the healthcare professional. Additional glossaries consisting of definitions of terms, symptoms and acronyms; cross-references of medical vocabulary to plain English; charts outlining key drug families with the generic, brand names; and algorithmic symptom charts could all enhance the book’s future value.
All the most common diseases of concern to travelers have their own sections; subheadings include description, occurrence, risk, clinical presentation, prevention, treatment, and references. Adding a subheading to detail long-term prognosis, complications and associated conditions might be worthwhile. Vaccines are covered under prevention; trade names for various vaccine combinations are described to aid identification. Yellow Fever and Malaria have their own detailed section referred to as the ‘blue chapter’. Other welcome additions for 2008 include special considerations for humanitarian aid workers, international adoption, and even responsibilities of the travel industry.
The font and dimensions are a little larger than expected for a handbook. Alternatively, what are the chances of an Internet cafe being at point-of-need in the Amazon rainforest, or the Serengeti desert, or the ridges of the Carpathian Mountains? I say it’s worth its 2 lb weight in gold (or yellow). Pack it!
Reviewed by: Ann Celestine, International University of Nursing, Basseterre, St. Kitts.
Chavarro, Jorge and Walter Willet. The Fertility Diet: Groundbreaking Research Reveals Natural Ways to Boost Ovulation & Improve Your Chances of Getting Pregnant. McGraw Hill, 2007. 247p. Illus. Bibliography. ISBN 978-0-07-149479-0. $24.95.
Harvard School of Public Health researchers Chavarro and Willet offer a sensible nutrition guide with a focus on fertility – especially female fertility – for couples trying to conceive a child. The authors, neither of whom would be considered out of the mainstream, note the surprising lack of attention within and without the medical community paid to approaches to boost fertility that do not involve assisted reproductive technologies. Citing the results obtained in the second round of the Nurses’ Health Study (begun in 1989 by Dr. Willet among others) which helped clarify the connections between diet, weight, exercise and reproductive health, they distill the knowledge gained in that study to ten key principles for improving the odds for conception. Many of these principles are standard advice for healthy nutrition such as eating whole grains and other "slow carbs" and choosing monosaturated and polyunsaturated vegetable oils as much as possible. Some will surprise readers, however, including the recommendation to drink a glass of whole milk or eat more full fat dairy products in place of skim (temporarily while trying to conceive). The practical and sympathetic admonition to overweight women to lose just five to ten percent of their weight to boost their fertility will come as a welcome relief for women who have borne both a lifetime battle with weight as well as constant scolding about the need to maintain a "healthy weight." Endocrine disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome and other causes for infertility are also briefly covered.
The Fertility Diet would be an excellent addition to any collection on infertility and/or nutrition.
Reviewed by: Kay Hogan Smith, UAB Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences, Birmingham, AL.
This new title from Woodbine House is part of their ongoing series entitled Topics in Autism. Previous titles in this series have provided practical, hands-on information for parents and professionals working with those in the autism spectrum. Visual Supports for People with Autism is written in a similar vein.
The authors have a wealth of combined knowledge and experience and approach this guide with the educator in mind. They highlight the importance of first determining the particular learning style of the student in question in order to decide whether and when to use visual supports. Some assessment tools are described.
The book focuses on 6 areas where a student within the autism spectrum may find particular challenges. These include Difficulty with Language, Difficulty with Memory, Temporal / Sequential Skills Deficits, Difficulty with Attending, Lack of Motivation, and Social Skills Deficits. The authors provide visual strategies to match specific skills within each of these categories. For all of the activities and supports discussed, the authors emphasize the need to tailor the aids to the individual student.
Practical suggestions for creating supports are provided throughout; including considerations for durability, portability, ideas for evaluating effectiveness and suggestions for progression. Pictorial examples of almost all of the activities discussed are included. The book closes with references, recommended reading, an index and color figures. This resource is recommended for libraries where there is a need for or interest in autism and special needs education strategies.
Reviewed by: Trish Green, Consumer Health Librarian, Kitchener Public Library, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.
Avian flu, West Nile virus, anthrax – these are among the most newsworthy and familiar of the zoonoses. Zoonoses, or zoonotic diseases, are those that can be transmitted from animal to human either directly or through a carrier (vector). The Handbook of Zoonoses presents an alphabetical list of these infectious diseases, and skimming through it would give pause to anyone thinking about taking a stroll in the woods or eating before a thorough hand washing.
The zoonotic disease entries are presented in a concise and consistent format, including sections on etiology (e.g. parasitic, bacterial, viral, etc.), the animals that most commonly serve as hosts, modes of transmission, the pathogens’ manifestation in animals and in humans, diagnosis, treatment and prevention. There are black and white photographs and figures throughout illustrating symptoms and modes of transmission.
Prior to the disease entries, there are brief explanatory sections on terminology and breakdowns of the zoonoses by etiology, host and most common modes of transmission. There are brief illustrated appendices on tick identification, removal and avoidance as well as an appendix on food safety – all of which are important tips in steering clear of many zoonotic pathogens.
The authors, a veterinarian and a microbiologist, indicate that the intended audience is healthcare personnel – both human and animal – who need a quick reference, as well as the general public. Though the writing is very clear, the subject matter and medical terminology require a higher than average literacy level. Its place in a public or consumer health library would be as a medical reference source; it may have greater relevance in areas where animal care and husbandry are more prevalent. Overall, this is an excellent summary of essential zoonotic disease information, and as the authors state, it is an easy antidote to the wealth of misinformation about these diseases on the Web.
Reviewed by: Stephanie L. Harris, Graese Community Health Library, Orlando Regional Healthcare, Orlando, FL.
For the age-old problems of muscle and joint pain disorders, Dr. Greg Fors provides an eye-opening exploration of the causes for these ailments.
His expertise is well-founded in his 15-plus years of experience as a board-certified neurologist. He uses a wide variety of alternative therapies, such as nutrition, botanical medicine, chiropractic, trigger point therapy, acupuncture and physical therapies, to successfully treat these complaints. He also has lived with chronic pain and has a daughter who also struggles from severe fibromyalgia.
It is an easy-to-understand book, even though there are technical terms included. Dr. Fors does a good job of explaining these terms. The book includes photographs, diagrams, and a list of Website Resources and Recommended Reading that are helpful.
The author also explores the spiritual side of humanity. He believes there is a strong connection between this and our physical well-being. He has developed a 5-step program for the spiritual healing of pain and suffering.
This book is a valuable resource for exploring all facets of self-care for chronic pain. It would be worth having on the library shelf in the public sector or one's own personal collection.
Reviewed by: Julie Johansen, Medtronic, Inc., Mounds View, Minnesota.
This book is part of the American Academy of Neurology Press Quality of Life Guide series. Harry J. Gould, III, MD, PhD is Director of the Pain Mastery Center in the Department of Neurology at Louisiana State University and has published scholarly articles on pain management for over twenty years. Dr. Gould is also active in many professional organizations, including the American Academy of Neurology, American Pain Society and the International Association for the Study of Pain. His first book for consumers draws upon his years of experience and expertise to provide a concise, comprehensive overview of all aspects of pain. The book delivers a reassuring message for people experiencing pain – "pain is what the sufferer says it is." Dr. Gould espouses a multidisciplinary team coordinated by PCPs to effectively diagnose and treat pain. He provides strategies for patients to communicate the nature of their pain to their providers, such as its intensity, quality, location and distribution. Well-researched chapters cover medications, alternative therapies, surgery, special issues of pain in children and the elderly and a resource guide. Self-care strategies (exercise, a healthy diet and adequate rest) also help patients achieve a better quality of life. A thoughtful discussion about issues of pain medication and dependency, tolerance and addiction will be helpful for patients with concerns. While written at a somewhat high level, a glossary clearly defines many words and phrases. Advanced readers will appreciate the chapter on pain anatomy, with figures and explanations of why, how and where pain happens.
Reviewed by: Cara Helfner, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA.
Alan Greene, MD is the author/owner of the popular parenting website www.DrGreene.com. He is a practicing pediatrician and teaches at Stanford University School of Medicine.
Raising Baby Green is an easy to read parenting guide focusing on the simple changes that can be made to raise children in an environmentally friendly home.
Throughout the book, the tone maintains a positive, "can do" approach. It offers solid advice and encourages readers to start by making small lifestyle changes, choosing the level of commitment that is right for them.
The book is written on a 9th-10th grade reading level with all concepts clearly explained. Call-out boxes are used to highlight specific issues and each chapter contains an extensive amount of additional online resources.
The first two chapters discuss prenatal care and labor & delivery. The rest of the book is organized by common household areas, such as: the nursery, kitchen and bathroom. The author’s intent is to use this as a quick reference guide although this organization may be difficult for some. For instance, the chapter on the kitchen discusses everything from breast-feeding and organic foods to kitchen appliances, pest control and plastics.
While the author freely offers up his opinion (especially on commercial products & retailers), he is never preachy or judgmental about the choices that families make (ex: medicated vs. non-medicated childbirth) and instead chooses to let the facts speak for themselves.
Despite the organization, the ease of reading and the "whole house" approach make this an excellent book for anyone, not just new parents, who are looking to make practical changes to benefit their children and the environment.
Includes notes (references), "green resources" and an index. Highly recommended for all public libraries.
Reviewed by: Guinevere Forshey, Crandall Public Library, Glens Falls, NY.
The authors, physicians practicing in Germany, recently invented acutaping. The book has been translated from German, and includes online sources of acutaping tape (which the authors state cannot be purchased in drugstores). The treatment uses pink (for warmth), blue (for a feeling of coolness), and tan (energetically neutral) tape adhered to the exterior of the body in an effort for patients to self-heal chronic pain and injury. The authors state that "stimulating effects of irritation by tape, a normalization of metabolism occurs, which starts the self-healing process of the body". Throughout the book, there are claims that acutaping successfully treats conditions from headaches to tennis elbow, yet no studies or research validate the effectiveness of the treatment (the term acutaping is not found in PubMed, CINAHL or OVID). The premise of the treatment is to have the patient stretch and then apply the tape to the painful area, but advising someone with post-operative pain after spinal disc surgery "before applying tape, tilt your head down toward your breastbone and curve your whole back forward" could result in serious injury, to say the least. Other dangerous advice has nothing to do with acutaping, such as telling people to self-test their Ph levels, and if the reading is below a certain level, go to a doctor of naturopathy to reduce acid levels. This book is not recommended.
Reviewed by: Cara Helfner, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA.
Janice Joneja, PhD, RD, is a researcher, educator, author, and clinical counselor with thirty years of experience in the area of biochemical and immunological reactions involved in food allergy and intolerance. She holds a Ph.D. in medical microbiology and immunology and is an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia. Joneja is also a dietitian (RD), a member of Dietitians of Canada, and the American Dietetic Association. (www.allergynutrition.com)
This book is comprehensive, describing in some detail the prevention, symptoms, and diagnosis of food allergies, elimination and challenge diets, eleven chapters on specific food allergies and lactose intolerance, chapters on anaphylaxis, hyperactivity, autism, eczema, and asthma, probiotics, dietary considerations for the expectant mother, and common food sensitivity diets.
The reading level is quite high ("IgE as a predictive measure has also been considered by researchers looking for inheritance factors in predicting atopy"), and the early chapters are quite technical, but an educated parent will find this book to be thorough and full of sensible advice. Some terms are defined in the text, e.g., ". . . a jejunal biopsy (taking a tissue sample from the jejunum, a portion of the small intestine)" and there is a glossary at the back of the book. Joneja reviews the available scientific research and offers sound recommendations, but less literate consumers may prefer simpler texts with straightforward advice on lifestyle management, such as shopping and cooking for the allergic child, or working with schools and caregivers, etc. which this book does not cover.
Reviewed by: Brenda Pfannenstiel, AHIP, Children’s Mercy Hospitals & Clinics, Kansas City, MO.
It seems new evidence comes out daily on the health concerns of inadequate sleep. Sleep disturbances are often what brings patients into the physicians office. Barry Krakow, MD Medical Director at the Maimonides Sleep Arts & Sciences is sleep medicine specialist. His new book addresses the issue of sleep problems.
His book is for the educated consumer (high school level or higher) who would like to conquer their sleep problems. The book is broken into sections addressing the physical nature of sleep, emotional and physical problems that can affect sleep, and concrete solutions to the different problems. The book advocates that patients understand the pills they could be taking to sleep and how those pills could be masking other problems with their sleep. His approach is to have patients off medicines and find a more natural resolution to their sleep problems. However, patients are encouraged to work with their health professional to safely wean themselves off any medications. The techniques proposed by Dr. Krakow involve relaxation exercises developed by him through his research. Even though he has his own program he doesn’t back away from detailing the medical devices that can help someone with breathing problems as a cause of sleeplessness. Sound Sleep Sound Mind covers the subject of sleep at the same level as No More Sleepless Nights by Peter Hauri, Ph.D. and Shirley Motter Linde, Ph.D. and Say Good Night to Insomnia by Gregg D. Jacobs, Ph.D, only with a greater emphasis on the medical devices that will often help a patient obtain a better night of sleep. I recommend this book as a good addition to any consumer collection.
Reviewed by: Julia Esparza, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Medical Library, Shreveport, LA.
Authors Eric and Sharon Langshur are the creators of CarePages http://www.carepages.com/ a website designed to facilitate creating a community of support for times of illness and stress. Five years of working with the people who have benefited from this service have given them insight into the many different ways individuals can be supportive of their friends and families in crisis. We Carry Each Other is a gathering of vignettes that illustrate these services, big and small, that are so vital to making life better for all.
The majority of people who live until maturity experience, at one point or another, a family member or friend that is going through a time of crisis and needs the support of loved ones. This book provides examples of a multitude of ways such support can be given. The book seems a bit disjointed if you try reading it through in a rapid fashion. It should be taken in small doses, digested a bit at a time. The main thing it shows is that there is no limit to the ways help can be provided as long as one’s talents and one’s creativity are put to use.
The two parts that I believe could be very helpful are lists. The first comes toward the middle of the book and is a basic list of thirty ways to be helpful (Tips to Give and Share). The second is toward the end of the book and gives advice on how to deal with long-term family contentions so to encourage a united front to get through the crisis. (Sibling problems when dealing with a parent’s death, etc.)
If I had a hundred copies of this I would place it in every waiting room nearby for people to pick-up and glance through to give them ideas on how they can help, or how they can ask for help.
Reviewed by: Laura Brown, Loma Linda University Libraries, Loma Linda, CA.
Norman Latov is a well respected researcher on peripheral neuropathy and related disorders, professor of neurology at Weill Medical College and author of many journal articles. He is also the medical advisor for the Neuropathy News, the newsletter of the Neuropathy Association, a patient support and information group. This book and the organization are the main reliable, current, and patient oriented sources available on neuropathy per se, though since it is a feature of diabetes and other diseases, books and websites related to the primary disease offer information. Pain materials also sometimes cover neuropathy since it can be a cause of intractable pain.
The book covers pathophysiology, available treatments, and coping very well and authoritatively. Drugs and dosages are covered in depth. An especially good feature for giving encouragement is the collection of stories of patients’ experiences that forms the last chapter. The only negative feature of the book is that many patients may need to keep a dictionary close by while reading it. Dr Latov is capable of using words like "radiculopathies’ without offering explanation, and sometimes writing rather complicated sentences. However, many pages offer one sentence sum-ups in boxes that are very helpful and direct. A good example is the Chapter 1 opener, "If you talk to ten people with neuropathy, you may hear ten different sets of symptoms, but if you ask another 100, you will probably hear the same ten."
Reviewed by: Anna Gieschen, Wegner Health Science Information Center, Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Understanding Peyronie’s Disease: A Treatment Guide for Curvature of the Penis, offers, in a Q&A format, frank discussion about a topic were trusted information written explicitly for the consumer may be hard to find. The author discusses many of the topics that men, and their partners, will have about what are potential contributing factors such as masturbation, jelquing, STDs, stress and others. Many of these topics may not surface in a doctor’s office due to embarrassment on the part of the patient or the physician. While girls and women have long been educated about their bodies, men still seem to find such education and discussion difficult, even with clinicians. Understanding Peyronie’s Disease may help patients formulate the questions they need to discuss with their health care provider.
PD, known as a "wound-healing disorder," that is, is often instigated by the healing of a wound, in this case most often caused by some trauma (the most common trauma occurs during sexual intercourse).While there is no clear cause of PD, it does tend to run in families and there is "also likely some underlying genetic abnormality that predisposes a man to be unable to heal injuries to the penis in a normal fashion." "Current thinking is that Peyronie’s disease develops most commonly following trauma to the erect penis during sexual activity." While PDs onset may be rapid or quite slow, the first signs are often pain in the glans, or head of the penis, and the formation of a small nodule followed by further deformity, of which curvature is the most common. Because of the highly sensitive nature of PD "problems of depression, anxiety and loss of self-esteem … are now recognized to be quite common." One of the primary issues causing emotional problems in PD patients is the shortening of the length of the penis of up to four inches.
Like many medical conditions PD is an equal opportunity disease, while it occurs mostly in middle-aged Caucasian men, it can occur in teenagers and the elderly and affect all ethnic groups (although this disparity could be a result of inequities in the health care system and Caucasians having greater access to medical care).
The author, Laurence Levine, M.D., a Rush University (Chicago, IL) physician and associate with the well-known Urology Specialist in Chicago, opens the book with a detailed discussion about PD, its medical evaluation and sexual function. After obtaining a better understanding of the condition the author offers multiple chapters of both non-surgical and surgical treatments; glossary of terms and additional resources for those wanting further information. Levine provides a well-organized and no-nonsense narrative that answers the questions that many are afraid to ask, and some that patients may not know they need to ask. This book is both informational and educational in tone and is highly recommended for all libraries -- public, hospital, university, and consumer.
Reviewed by: Howard Fuller, email@example.com, The Stupski Foundation, Mill Valley, CA.
The audience for this book is stated as, "qualified massage and bodywork therapists in the UK." The purpose of the text is to present approaches to bodywork, (massage, reflexology, aromatherapy, acupuncture, reike, hypnotherapy) in palliative and cancer care. A poignant forward is included by Michele Petrone, a cancer survivor who experienced bodywork therapies during her illness. The book is divided into two sections. The first section includes seven chapters discussing the evidence, theoretical basis and clinical practice of massage and bodywork approaches including an overview of cancer, integration of bodywork into a hospice environment, published research, and the therapist as a teacher. The second section includes eight chapters on specific areas of the body and techniques for various bodywork therapies for each. Disease specific entries include cancer, lymphoderma and spinal cord compression.
Each chapter begins with an abstract and keywords. The text contains case studies, charts, and illustrations. At the end of each chapter references and addresses are listed.
Both editors are from the UK and involved in complementary therapy work. There are 17 contributing authors to the work, all with backgrounds in complementary therapies. The book is written on a level for therapists in the field. It will be most useful to therapists in the UK as the examples and case studies are specific to that country.
Reviewed by: Linda Gorman, MLS, Johns Hopkin Bayview Medical Center, Baltimore, MD.
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities results from collaboration between women with disabilities and health workers from around the world, and editors from the Hesperian Foundation, a non-profit organization in Berkeley, California. Hesperian publishes books and other products for use in community based health care in areas where access to medical care may be lacking. It is written at a lower reading level than most works on women’s health and covers the standard topics regarding sexual and reproductive health found in these works, with additional information for women with disabilities to adapt health practices to accommodate their needs. It includes chapters on health issues specific to women with disabilities, mental health, newborn care, and abusive relationships, and provides suggestions for women to advocate for their needs, including issues such as physical access in the community and access to medical care. It supports women in their efforts to have health practitioners look beyond their disabilities and diagnose and treat their other health conditions. A Spanish edition is also planned.
A small section intended for health care workers illustrating basic sign language for women health issues is included in the appendices as is information for women with disabilities on caring for equipment, medications, a glossary, and lists of printed and online resources. This book can be downloaded at the publisher’s website: http://www.hesperian.org/publications_download_wwd.php. It is recommended for consumer health libraries with collections for people with disabilities or a need for a book on women’s health written at a lower reading level.
Reviewed by: Deborah Magnan, Samuel and Sandra Hekemian Medical Library, Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack, NJ.
Miller, Kenneth D., MD [editor]. Choices in Breast Cancer Treatment: Medical Specialists and Cancer Survivors Tell You What You Need to Know. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007. 401p. ISBN 13: 978-0-8018-8685-0. $18.95.
Dr. Kenneth Miller, a medical oncologist specializing in breast cancer treatment, is an assistant professor of medicine at Yale-New Haven Medical School. The first half of this book contains chapters written by cancer specialists, who explain various aspects of breast cancer treatment: surgery, radiation therapy, hormonal treatment, chemotherapy, and breast reconstruction. The second part is written by women who have been treated for breast cancer. The first section is subdivided into stories from patients who are at high risk, those who have non-invasive cancer, those with invasive cancer, and those with advanced breast cancer; there is also a section containing three chapters written by health care providers who have been treated for breast cancer.
There is a great deal of very detailed information in this book, including explanations of how the various therapies work. There is also heavy emphasis on decision-making: lumpectomy versus mastectomy, timing and type of reconstruction, and determining the need for radiation therapy, adjuvant chemotherapy, or hormonal therapy. For a patient who has sufficient time, interest, grasp of medical terminology, and familiarity with scientific textbooks, this book could be a useful overview; it would be an excellent resource for a medical librarian who is newly diagnosed with breast cancer. The very high reading level and small, artistic type face may challenge some readers. In addition, the survivor stories and the many references to options, decisions, and choices seem centered on a segment of the patient population whose financial security and facility in dealing with complex health care delivery systems offer the optimum position from which to make those choices.
Reviewed by: Sheila Thomas, Churchville, MD.
Pall. Martin, L. Explaining "Unexplained Illnesses:" Disease Paradigm for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Fibromyalgia, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Gulf War Syndrome, and Others. Haworth Press, 2007. 446p. Index. ISBN 978-0-7890-2388-9. $89.95.
Illnesses like chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, multiple chemical sensitivity, and PTSD greatly afflict those suffering with them because effective, long-term treatment remains elusive. Dr. Pall, a professor of biochemistry, offers a new paradigm to explain their causes; unfortunately for most readers, the explanation is predominantly scientific. The basic hypothesis about causal mechanisms will be difficult to understand for any reader who does not have a biochemistry background. Each chapter begins with ‘take home lessons,’ which are almost accessible summaries of the information to follow, but nonetheless written in technical language. The illnesses mentioned in the title do receive their own chapters, but the content is intended to inform a specialized scientific community. Diagrams and charts are likewise for professionals.
While the book’s premise may be exciting news for the medical community, consumers at large will have to wait for this information to be written in a less scientific way in order to share in the book’s purported promise. This book is not recommended for public libraries.
Reviewed by: Susan LaValley, MA, MLS, Consumer Health Librarian, Delaware Academy of Medicine, Bear, DE.
From the moment the Consumer Health Information Service opened in 1992, we received numerous requests from frustrated consumers for information on fibromyalgia. Many of them were told that they might have this strange condition by their physician – if they were one of the lucky ones whose health care provider recognized that fibromyalgia was a "real" medical problem - but were also given the bad news that there wasn’t any information about it. Not true! More than fifteen years later, although there is no definitive treatment for fibromyalgia, it is not difficult to find a range of useful information to help manage this condition.
Fibromyalgia affects six million or more people in the United States. "Also known as fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), fibromyalgia’s major symptom is pain in the muscles, tendons, and bones throughout the body." (p. 1) Although there is a range of possible causes, FMS pain may be linked to a specific injury or traumatic event. The majority of people with FMS also suffer some level of chronic depression. However, some people, including physicians, dismiss FMS as a medical condition and equate it with hypochondria.
The authors are a physician and a seasoned health writer: Roland Staud, M.D., is a diplomat of the American Board of Rheumatology dedicated to treating fibromyalgia patients; Christine Adamec is a freelance writer concentrating on self-help and medical/health issues. This is a revision of the earlier 2002 edition on which they also collaborated.
Fibromyalgia For Dummies follows the consumer-friendly pattern of the "for Dummies" books. The books are written in a conversational style and material is laid out in manageable chunks with sidebar icons, such as ‘remember" or "tip" to draw special attention to the information. The chapters cover what a person with FSE would need to know, as well as what their family and friends would need to know to support and help them: the cause, diagnosis (including diseases often confused with FSE), treatment options, lifestyle modifications, managing FSE at work and at home, and some fun and useful "tens" lists (alternative remedies, ten mistakes to avoid, ten ways to clear your brain, ten myths). The appendices include a glossary, medications, and a list of resources: organizations, Internet information, e-mail lists, newsgroups, forums, and newsletters / magazines.
Fibromyalgia For Dummies is recommended for consumer health information collections. It provides solid information and encourages those with FSE to "stop hurting and start healing." For those interested in more technical information on FSE, Fibromyalgia & Chronic Myofascial Pain: A Survival Manual by Devin Starlanyl, M.D., a physician who specializes in the research and treatment of FMS/MPS (myofascial pain syndrome) and who has both conditions, would be a good pairing.
Reviewed by: Susan Murray, Consumer Health Information Service, Toronto Reference Library, Toronto, Canada.
Dr. Elizabeth Stewart, consultant at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, uses medical and personal knowledge to discuss uterine fibroids, which affect at least 25 per cent of all women. She explains what fibroids are, who gets them, how they are diagnosed, and their possible recurrence. Treatments range from watchful waiting to hysterectomy, so Stewart’s helpful diagrams, photos, and checklist of symptoms and patient expectations will help women discuss options and make decisions.
Various types of surgeries are covered: endometrial ablation, open and laparoscopic myomectomy [fibroid removal], uterine artery embolization, focused ultrasound surgery and thermoablation, and hysterectomy. "Hints for surgical recovery" provides advice on post-operative pain control plus practical tips on getting out of bed (ouch!), resuming exercise and driving, and dealing with possible postmenopausal symptoms.
Non-surgical treatments are also described, including low-dose hormones and birth control pills to control bleeding, gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists to shrink fibroids short-term, newer drugs such as mifepristone, and current research on interferons, growth factors and antifibrotics.
A separate section discusses genetics, effects of the condition and surgery on fertility and pregnancy, similar conditions (adenomyosis, leiomyomatosis), and cancers that may mimic fibroids. It is followed by a 24-page reference list. [Index and color photos not seen.]
This exceptionally well-written book is easy to read (estimated 9th grade reading level) and helpful to women wishing to understand fibroids and make health decisions. Readers preferring personal stories might also try Johanna Skilling’s Fibroids; the Complete Guide to Taking Charge of Your Physical, Emotional, and Sexual Well-being (Marlowe, 2nd ed., 2006). Highly recommended.
Reviewed by: Nancy Crossfield, Saint Agnes Medical Center, Fresno, CA.
Elaine Stillerman is a Licensed Massage Therapist who has practiced in her field for almost thirty years. Her other published works include Mother Massage: A Handbook for Relieving the Discomfort of Pregnancy (1980), still in print.
The book lavishly illustrated throughout with full color artworks, color techniques photos, and anatomical illustrations. The book is divided into four sections for easy of use. The sections cover the physiology of pregnancy and massage, massage during labor and postpartum massage. A glossary, resource list and index are also included as well as references at the end of each chapter. A DVD (45 minutes) accompanies the book and DVD icons in the text refer the student between the two mediums. This title is part of Mosby’s Massage Career Development Series and is appropriate for libraries serving a clientele studying professional massage.
Reviewed by: Rene L. Brown, Planetree Health Resource Center Library, Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center, Williamsburg, VA.
Consumer Connections (ISSN 1535-7821) is the newsletter of the Consumer and Patient Information Section of the Medical Library Association. It is published on the CAPHIS website quarterly. Notification of publication is sent via the CAPHIS listserv. CAPHIS is the largest section of the Medical Library Association.
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.
Submit by this newsletter
|For publication newsletter issue|
Please send submissions in electronic format to the editor:
e -mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: (212) 822-7355
See Advertising Rate Sheet