ISSN 1535-7821 Vol. 24 No. 2 2008
Consent or Obedience? Medical Authority and Consumer Health Information:
Bridging the Medical Ethics Gap
In this Section Program, two speakers gave very interesting presentations on medical ethics. Michal Raucher (Dept. of Religion, Northwestern University) discussed the ethical use of ultrasound imaging. Ultrasound imaging is normally used by a physician or licensed technician for medical diagnosis of the developing fetus. However, Raucher talks about the increasing, and questionable use of non-medical ultrasound in which a woman has an ultrasound image taken of her developing fetus for “vanity” purposes. An example is the actor Tom Cruise's controversial purchase of an ultrasound machine to use during his wife's pregnancy. Raucher questions the ethics of this “commercialization of pregnancy.” The organizations AIUM (American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine), ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists), and FDA (United States Food & Drug Administration) expressed their concerns about the increasing use of non-medical ultrasound. The FDA & AIUM joined together to promote safe ultrasound imaging, including the creation of a fact sheet of acceptable medical ultrasound practice for the public.
Laurie Zoloth (Center for Bioethics Science and Society, Northwestern University) gave a discussion on medical ethics and the Internet. She began by comparing how information was once exchanged (the physician/medical librarian) and how information is now exchanged (Internet). The physician or medical librarian is no longer the distributor of knowledge with the onset of medical information on the Internet and in turn, patients and families become consumers of multiple, conflicting information. Zoloth noted that much of the health care Internet fall into these categories: advocacy, resistance to authority (“Vaccines are dangerous”), resistance to science, aging population (vulnerable to claims), and uncertainty of truth claims. She cites examples of two websites that have misleading claims to curing illnesses. Zoloth also posed the question of medical ethics while discussing the POPLINE database controversy when the word “abortion” was eliminated as a stop word (and was quickly restored to a stop word again after stinging criticism from the medical librarian community). Zoloth notes that while the Internet is a powerful resource for medical resources, the Internet cannot replace consultation with one’s physician.
Submitted By: Latrina Keith, Library, New York Academy of Medicine.
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.
WISER provides access to DOT Emergency Response Guidebook 2008 (ERG2008)
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Emergency Response Guidebook 2008 (ERG2008) provides guidance to first responders on how to identify the types of hazardous materials that may be involved in an incident and how to respond to the threats those materials might pose to emergency crews and the public. This updated hazmat safety guide for police, fire and other emergency response organizations is designed to aid emergency response personnel who may be the first to arrive at the scene of a transportation incident involving hazardous materials. The NLM Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders (WISER) has included the ERG since 2000, and currently includes an ERG 2008 Tool, comprised of the complete ERG with powerful search capabilities.
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has worked with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to grant emergency responders electronic access to the Emergency Response Guidebook 2008 (ERG2008) through laptops and personal digital assistants (PDAs). This joint effort keeps pace with the advance of portable personal technology and fulfills the request of a number of emergency responders for an electronic-based ERG. DOT is also distributing nearly 1.75 million print copies of the ERG.
For more information on the ERG2008, or to download the ERG and WISER software application, visit http://hazmat.dot.gov/pubs/erg/guidebook.htm, or call (202) 366-4900. Print copies of the ERG are available commercially through the U.S. Government Printing Office Bookstore and other commercial vendors.
For information on WISER software, visit http://wiser.nlm.nih.gov.
NLM Enviro-Health Links: Disaster Recovery and Environmental Health; Hazards of Mercury
A new Web page that addresses Disaster Recovery and Environmental Health has been added to the National Library of Medicine (NLM) Enviro-Health Links.http://sis.nlm.nih.gov/enviro/disasterrecovery.html
This link provides information about recovering from natural and man-made disasters. It includes guides for state and local officials, links to state emergency management offices, information for emergency responders, guidelines for workers involved in environmental cleanup, and handling hazardous chemicals.
Hazards of Mercury
The effects of mercury on human health are a common concern. The new NLM Enviro-Health Links page, “Mercury and Human Health,” includes links to sites about mercury reduction, occupational exposure, compact fluorescent light bulbs, mercury in health care, regulations and state legislation, and preformed TOXLINE and MEDLINE/PubMed searches. http://sis.nlm.nih.gov/enviro/mercury.html
New Tox Town and ToxMystery flyer in English and Spanish
A link is now available on Tox Town to a 2-page (front and back) color flyer on Tox Town and ToxMystery. The flyer is English on one side, Spanish on the other. Please feel free to widely distribute.http://toxtown.nlm.nih.gov/text_version/resources/ToxMysteryEnglishSpanish.pdf
Household Products Database (http://householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov)
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Household Products Database (HPD)(http://householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov) now has a new look and improved navigation and searching.
HPD is a consumer's guide that provides information on the potential health effects of chemicals contained in more than 7,000 common household products used inside and around the home. This database allows scientists and consumers to find out about ingredients in brand-name products.
NLM’s Haz-Map has added more than one hundred new chemicals and updated information on all substances.
Haz-Map (http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov) is an occupational health database designed for health and safety professionals and for consumers seeking information about the health effects of exposure to chemicals and biologicals at work. Haz-Map links jobs and hazardous tasks with occupational diseases and their symptoms. It is one of the products and services made available by the National Library of Medicine's (NLM) Toxicology and Environmental Health Information Program (http://sis.nlm.nih.gov/enviro.html).
A new resource from the trusted organization that produced the original Our Bodies, Ourselves thirty-five years ago, this title is arranged into five sections. Beginning with the "Journey to Parenthood" section, the authors explain that they have drawn on the "most accurate research, the personal experiences of many individual women, and the advice of midwives, physicians, and other health care providers, [to] will give you the information you need to make wise decisions and approach birth with confidence.” Choosing both a health care provider and birth setting as well as preparing for childbirth are also addressed in this section. “Your Pregnancy” includes info on normal pregnancy development and self care as well as special concerns, prenatal testing and childbearing loss. The process of labor and delivery are covered in “Giving Birth” along with material on coping with pain, cesarean births and special concerns such as prolonged labor, postpartum hemorrhage, preterm labor, etc. Practical information on physical recovery, feeding your baby and adjusting to life as a new mother is presented in "Becoming a Mother." Finally, "Knowledge is Power" discusses advocacy for better maternity care and for mothers and families in general. A Resources section is included; readers are referred to the Our Bodies, Ourselves website (www.ourbodiesourselves.org) for more extensive, up-to-date listings. Reading Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth leaves the reader with the comforting feeling of having a large, well-informed support group. It is well written, well referenced, and full of practical information. This title should be considered a high priority purchase for both public and consumer health collections.
Reviewed By: Nancy Calabretta, Cooper University Hospital, Camden, NJ.
The author, David Buchholz is a practicing neurologist at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine with 20 years of experience in treating patients with headaches. His treatment plan is based on the theory that all headaches arise from the single mechanism of migraine and that patients can control their headaches by implementing his three step program. The three steps are to avoid the “quick fix”, reduce your triggers, and raise your threshold. The “quick fix” involves treating the headache with pain medication, a process which can eventually cause more headaches. Triggers are certain dietary items, medications, hormonal fluctuations, and even atmospheric conditions that can initiate a headache. The threshold is the preset level of trigger input at which the headache mechanism is activated.
Heal Your Headache defines migraine, fully explains the 1-2-3 program, discusses misdiagnoses, medications and what to do when treatment fails. Numerous case studies, a section of frequently asked questions, recipes and menus provide extra value to this book. A readable font, clearly stated text, meaningful charts and illustrations all contribute to make this book easy to read and understand.
Since this book is based on a specific theory which is sometimes contrary to existing conceptions, it should not be the only book about headache treatment in a consumer health library collection. But the qualifications and clinical experience of the author give credence to his unique program.
Reviewed By: Dee Jones, Head, Cataloging, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, LA.
Living with Progressive Multiple Sclerosis explains the medical aspects of this disease, including its etiology, and offers practical suggestions to those coping with it on a day-to-day basis.
The book is written by two specialists in multiple sclerosis (MS), Patricia Coyle, M.D., director of the Multiple Sclerosis Comprehensive Care Center at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and June Halper, MSN, ANP, FAAN, an established author in the subject and a certified nurse practitioner with 30 years nursing experience in helping those with multiple sclerosis.
The first three chapters explain the nature of multiple sclerosis (MS), its affect on the central nervous system (CNS), and the body as a whole. The authors also provide detailed information about the latest drug therapies used to treat MS. Although the authors use many clinical terms to describe MS, they do provide readers a glossary of terms to which they may refer for further clarification.
The balance of the book, chapters 4 through 9, presents a detailed discussion in conversational language about managing the many symptoms of the disease. These symptoms can include debilitating fatigue, bladder problems, depression, skin care, sexual issues, and disease progression.
In addition to the glossary of terms, the book also includes tables of the major points discussed, an index, and references for additional readings.
Reviewed By: Marie Becker, MLS, St. Joseph Hospital, Kokomo, IN.
Cunningham, Tricia and Heidi Skolnik. The Reverse Diet: Lose 20, 50, 100 Pounds or More by Eating Dinner for Breakfast and Breakfast for Dinner. John Wiley & Sons, 2007. 260p. appendices and index. ISBN 978-0-470-16874-5. $14.95.
The Reverse Diet is another in a long line of diet books that lure the potential dieter into thinking that this diet will be the one that finally allows him or her to conquer the weight loss war. The book was written by Tricia Cunningham, who struggled with her own weight issues and refers to herself as a “trained nurse” although there is no further explanation of her credentials, and Heidi Skolnik, a certified dietitian/nutritionist and Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. The two met when Heidi was asked to evaluate the diet for Good Morning America. The premise of the diet is to have a healthy calorie distribution throughout the day, eating a larger meal in the morning and a smaller meal at night. It consists of three phases: Weight-Loss, Bridge, and Maintenance. Potential dieters may be discouraged by the statement that they can “eat only foods on the Reverse Diet Food List” in the Weight-Loss phase, a list that fills barely three pages of the book. A one-on-one voice is heard throughout the book almost as if the reader has a personal dietitian. There are lists throughout (“What the Reverse Diet Can Do for You” and “High-risk times for Reverse Dieters”) to guide the dieter as well as “Reverse Diet Exercises” (“Shed Idealistic Images” and “Determine Your Trigger Foods”). Inspirational quotes from “successful Reverse Dieters” are interspersed in the text. Meal plans, recipes, and tips on everything from grocery shopping to eating in a restaurant are included. While there are some authoritative references (“a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association”), there is no bibliography. Recommended for the consumer health library only if your patrons search out the latest in diet books that they see on television or in magazines.
Reviewed By: Donna J. McCloskey, MLIS, Presbyterian Hospital Huntersville Health Information Center, Huntersville, NC.
Doubilet, Peter M.; Benson, Carol B., and Weisman, Roanne. Your Developing Baby, Conception to Birth: Witnessing the Miraculous 9-Month Journey. McGraw-Hill, 2008. 185 p. index. ISBN 978-0-07-148871-6. $18.95.
This book uses sonograms (2-D, 3-D, color Doppler and spectral Doppler), helpfully paired with labeled diagrams identifying the structures pictured. The authors describe the female reproductive organs and the developing baby from zygote to nearly born, illustrated with ultrasound images. Doubilet and Benson are Professors of Radiology at Harvard Medical School, and Weisman is the medical writer who made the prose more accessible to the intended audience, (11-12th grade reading level throughout). In a final chapter, obstetrician and new mother of twins Lydia Lee contributes observations about birth.
A positive and encouraging tone accompanies the description of the developing baby and its support and nourishment in the womb, with explanations of determination of sex and estimates of the baby’s gestational age and size by ultrasound. Brief chapters on multiple births and on prenatal diagnosis of problems of structure or function in the baby are included. This book does not describe in detail when organs develop, or when the baby begins growing hair, nor does it offer any tables or growth charts to compare the measurements on one’s sonogram to expected development.
Other books that describe life in utero using pictures from this once-secret world are:
Campbell, Stuart. Watch Me . . . Grow! A Unique, 3-Dimensional, Week-by-Week Look at Baby’s Behavior and Development in the Womb. NY: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2004.
Flanagan, Geraldine Lux. Beginning Life. NY: DK, 1996.
Tallack, Peter. In the Womb. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, 2006.
Reviewed By: Brenda R. Pfannenstiel, AHIP, Children’s Mercy Hospitals & Clinics, Kansas City, MO.
Donna Finando's book Acupoint and Trigger Point Therapy for Babies and Children is written for parents who are interested in learning more about managing common, minor childhood health problems through reflexology, massage, and acupressure techniques. Relying on her training as a licensed massage therapist and acupuncturist as well as her own personal experience as a parent, Ms. Finando presents a well-organized table of contents and index that allow readers to find information quickly on a particular health complaint or topic. Ms. Finando provides helpful health topic overviews to educate readers about basic principles of Western medicine. She addresses most topics with guidelines about when to call a doctor, a description of the health complaint and its causes, suggestions about how to help the child, and a suggested multi-step acupressure or massage plan that specifically relates to the health complaint. Although each acupressure or massage routine is accompanied by a highlighted diagram, many of the diagrams and written descriptions for point location are confusing and unclear, especially for a lay person who is unfamiliar with traditional Chinese medicine or meridian theory. Ms. Finando provides a chapter discussing meridian theory, but even with that readers will be challenged by references to specific points that are highlighted but unlabeled on the diagrams. Only the most dedicated readers will be able to execute the suggested acupressure routines, and only then by repeatedly cross-referencing multiple sections of the book. Otherwise, this book is very clearly written in straightforward language; it is likely a helpful resource for other massage therapists or practitioners of oriental medicine who are treating children’s minor, acute health problems.
Reviewed By: Carlita Anglin, MSIS, Stephen D. Hassenfeld Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, NY.
Part of the For Dummies series for beginners in every field, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder for Dummies deals with a serious subject which the author explains in layman’s terms, even using humor on occasion, while stressing that PTSD is a “major, life-altering disorder.” The author is a psychiatrist and Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA who has treated patients with PTSD for the past two decades. The book is divided into six parts comprised of eighteen chapters whose covered topics are listed in detail in the table of contents for easy reference. Parts one through four focus on the basics of PTSD, diagnosis, treatment, and healing. Part five offers support for family and friends. Part six lists ten myths about PTSD and ten signs of healing. One of the myths is that “only soldiers get PTSD” and the book addresses these other causes of post-traumatic stress disorder.
The appendix has valuable resources, including emergency telephone numbers and authoritative websites for general information and support groups. The author offers treatment options throughout the book while emphasizing that each person’s circumstances are unique; therefore, the treatment that works for one person may not be the best choice for another. While one person may benefit greatly from a support group, another may experience better results with drug therapy. Differences in treatment for adults and children are discussed as well. Real-Life Stories are presented in an insightful way without being overly dramatic. The last chapter in part four focuses on how a person can move forward with his or her life after treatment. Highly recommended for consumer health libraries.
Reviewed By: Donna J. McCloskey, MLIS, Presbyterian Hospital Huntersville Health Information Center, Huntersville, NC.
Lipsky, Martin S., Marla Mendelson, Stephen Havas, Michael Miller. American Medical Association Guide to Preventing and Treating Heart Disease; essential information you and your family need to know about having a healthy heart. John Wiley & Sons, 2008. viii, 328 p. ISBN 978-0-471-75024-6. $25.95 US, $30.99 CAN.
Yet another heart book! This one is sponsored by the AMA and written by four physicians with specialties in cardiology, family health, and pediatrics. It begins with the usual chapters on the circulatory system and types of cholesterol, followed by a solid chapter on preventing, monitoring, and managing high blood pressure. Separate sections consider preventive life changes – smoking cessation, exercise, diet, controlling obesity and diabetes, and stress reduction. The strength of the book is its more technical second half, with thorough chapters on diagnostic testing(electro- and echocardiography, nuclear imaging, MRI, CT, blood tests for cardiac enzymes and other markers, cardiac catheterization), post-heart attack options, heart valve problems and repair, congestive heart failure, arrhythmias, and stroke. A range of both medications and surgical treatments for these conditions are covered. Illustrations are sparse and writing is at a 12th-grade level, but the information is made interesting and easy to follow. Also included: how to find a specialist, a sample personal health history chart, glossary, and index.
With so many “heart” books on the market, should you buy this one? Yes for libraries who want a current authoritative overview or introductory chapters for their readers; no for individuals who might find more useful a shorter, cheaper more simply written book on achieving a healthy life style or focusing on specific types of heart disease.
Reviewed By: Nancy Crossfield, Saint Agnes Medical Center, Fresno, CA.
Playing by the Rules is a picture book published by Woodbine House for 4-8 year olds. It offers the younger audience a glimpse of the family relationships and the communication patterns of families with autistic children, as well as the special characteristics an autistic child might exhibit through the character, Josh. Unique autistic perspective presents itself through the dynamic between Jody and Josh during a visit from an elderly relative, Great Aunt Tilda. Jody’s position and understanding of her brother transforms her character into that of “interpreter”, and through her attempts to guide her Great Aunt Tilda, readers take on the open and learning position of Great Aunt Tilda. The author has a son with autism and is an active leader for health outreach programs. While a bibliography would have made this a great teaching and reference tool, it stands out because it accurately portrays the social and communicative challenges of an autistic child without using a disease label. The major strengths of this work include its portrayal of the whole family’s adaptation to autism, the communication strategies presented in the sentence strip use, and portrayal of success, fun and relationship building in autistic childhood despite perceived disability. Dolly Gray Award winners like Ian’s Walk (2000) by Laurie Lears and Karen Ritz, as well as My Brother Sammy (2002) by Becky Edwards and David Armitage are additional titles that explore autism through story and sibling relationship. This book is recommended for collections where examples of communication and adaptation to autism are needed, and for general children’s collections to enforce positive acceptance and celebration of difference.
Reviewed By Susan Scola Streckenbach, University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Library and Information Studies.
This updated and expanded second edition of Children with Spina Bifida: a Parents' Guide provides a comprehensive overview of spina bifida and its impact on the lives of children with this condition and their families. It is edited by Marlene Lutkenhoff, RN, MSN, nurse manager of the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics and Ophthalmology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and includes chapters written by a variety of experts from different institutions in the U.S.
Children with Spina Bifida is a resource that parents will return to often as their child develops and new situations are encountered. Overall the book has a positive and encouraging tone that will be reassuring to new parents. It includes well written chapters addressing the medical, educational, social/emotional, and legal issues of children with spina bifida. While the stated focus of the book is on children from birth through age 6, many of the chapters also contain information that may apply to older children and adolescents. Parents of children who have spina bifida have contributed chapters on coping with the initial diagnosis, and parenting issues, as well as “Parent Statements” at the end of each chapter, which contain valuable insights for parents and caregivers. In addition, there is a chapter on the adult with spina bifida, written by a developmental pediatrician who himself has this condition and a short chapter on growing up with spina bifida, written by a young adult.
A glossary, an extensive bibliography, a list of resources, and information about the contributors complete the book. Helpful photographs of children with spina bifida involved in school activities, therapy and play are found throughout the various chapters. This book is highly recommended for pediatric consumer health collections and is also recommended for general consumer health collections.
Reviewed By: Deborah Magnan, Samuel and Sandra Hekemian Medical Library, Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack, NJ.
This fourth edition is truly a new book for a new generation of parents while keeping all the gems that have made it a classic. A new hip mom, out of the rocking chair and in jeans on the cover is the first sign. Big changes include a “Before You Conceive” first chapter, week-by-week updates, a section in each chapter about expectant beauty, and a new chapter for moms of multiples. An expanded and more realistic then ever chapter on eating includes vegan diets, eating on the run, junk-food, and more. Smaller but just as useful changes include more online resources listed and a friendlier tone with more suggestions on how to handle things like unwanted advice and belly touching.
This is a friendly and down to earth book appropriate for medium to advanced reading levels. This new edition is a worthwhile purchase for your library.
Reviewed By: Susan Fowler, MLIS, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, St. Louis, MO.
Consumers spend $30 billion a year on herbs, vitamins, supplements, and other alternative therapies. How can they find out whether these treatments work for specific conditions or for general health purposes? Physicians often know little about them. The Natural Standard Database is an excellent resource for learning about complementary and alternative treatments.
The database is easy to use. An international team of more than 500 contributors, health care professionals with academic affiliations, searches nine major databases (AMRD, CANCERLIT, CINAHL, CISCOM, Cochrane, EMBASE, Hebmed, International Pharmaceutical Abstracts, Medline, and NAPRALERT) and twenty journals not indexed in databases to collect information. They search for literature on efficacy in humans, dosage, adverse effects, and use during pregnancy and lactation, mechanism of action, and effects on laboratory tests. All literature undergoes blind review by the editorial board. The database is updated every three to eighteen months, varying by topic. Important new information is added as quickly as possible.
Users may search or browse by broad category. These include foods, herbs, and supplements; health and wellness; comparative effectiveness; medical conditions; genomics and proteomics; brand names; and interactive tools. The information provided includes an explanation of the plant or food, the products in which it may be found, uses, dosage, adverse effects, efficacy and safety, and mechanism of action. Information about interactions with other drugs, herbs, and foods and a grade for effectiveness based on evidence make this database very useful. The grades are based on literature searches: A, strong evidence; B, good evidence; C, inconclusive or unclear evidence; D, fair negative evidence; and F, strong negative evidence. The reports are available in three formats: a professional monograph with a detailed report, a bottom line report in English of Spanish suitable for professionals or patients, and a flashcard with a brief summary. Current news items and a reference list with hot links to the articles are available also. Users may also search by condition to find and compare alternative therapies or check interactions between drugs and herbs, supplements, and foods. The database also has a dictionary of over 10,000 CAM and traditional medical terms, a brand name section to check ingredients, and a database of CAM practitioners and CAM training programs. The Natural Standard publishes a free newsletter available by e-mail or RSS, too. It is an excellent resource for academic, hospital, consumer health, and public libraries.
Reviewed By: Barbara M. Bibel, Oakland Public Library, Oakland, CA.
Understanding how the human body works often helps patients gain an understanding of problems that they may be facing. Yet often consumer level anatomy books present either beautiful detailed pictures with every inch of the body portrayed but a dry label of the name or inadequate pictures with excellent description of the function of the specific body parts. Finding anatomy books that provide both perspectives are a wonderful addition to any consumer library. Steve Parker, the author is a Senior Scientific Fellow of the Zoological Society of London. His extensive background of writing over 200 books (many for grades K-12) provides a strong ability to combine text and illustrations to educate the consumer. While the book is authored by him there are a myriad of consultants, editors, and illustrators involved in bringing this book to press.
The book breaks the human body down using “integrated system” approach. As a result, the reader sees not just the labeled segments of the body but how they play a role in human health. The section on muscles has an interesting description of how the facial muscles create different expressions. While highly organized and very informative readers with a literacy level below high school reading level will find the accompanying text too technical. The pictures and labeling though would help an educator explain a disease process. The accompanying DVD which plays only on a computer system has a point and click system that allows you to see the names of sections of the body. The few videos include would be educational but use of it and highlighting the body segment could be frustrating to a new computer user. Even with the more technical language this book draws in the casual reader. I would have loved to have had the book when I was working in a hospital to pull out to educate a patient or their family member even with the more technical text. A less technical book would be Encyclopedia of the Human Body by Richard Walker but it is less detailed and visually interesting. Be aware that it is listed that some of the text in this book is from The Human Body by Charles Clayman. I could not find a copy of this book from 1995 so I could not make a comparison on the overlap. The book is recommended for consumer health collections that would like to supplement with a more detailed technical anatomy book that provides a fresh approach to presenting the information.
Reviewed By: Julia Esparza, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Medical Library, Shreveport, LA.
Rosenstein, Ann A. Water Exercises for Osteoarthritis: The Effective Way to Reduce Pain and Stiffness, While Increasing Endurance and Strength. Idyll Arbor, 2007. 291 p. index. ISBN: 1882883624. $18.00.
Water Exercises for Osteoarthritis is the fourth water exercise book written by Ann Rosenstein, a certified water and land fitness instructor since 1989. Previous titles in this series include Water Exercises for Fibromyalgia, Water Exercises for Parkinson’s and Water Exercises for Rheumatoid Arthritis. This book begins with an explanation of osteoarthritis and how water exercise can assist in relieving the pain and restrictions caused by this often debilitating disease.
The major focus of the book is on 150 exercises used for warm-up, flexibility, range of motion, stretches, strength training, and cool down. Each exercise is accompanied by a series of photographs of people performing the various motions of that particular exercise. A total of 530 photographs illustrate equipment and water safety measures, as well as the actual exercises.
Concluding chapters deal with how to design an exercise program, the importance of diet, alternative remedies, and frequently asked questions, as well as up-to-date information on medications, vitamins, minerals and herbs. An extensive glossary provides definitions for a host of unfamiliar terms from ankylosing spondylitis to vasculitis.
The straightforward, understandable language makes this an ideal resource for the more than 20 million people affected by osteoarthritis. This book is equally valuable to aquatic therapy practitioners, fitness instructors, personal trainers, and physical therapists who want to provide up-to-date and useful information to their clients. Although possibly not an option due to publication cost, waterproof pages would be ideal, allowing the book to be used at poolside during the exercise program.
Reviewed By: Dee Jones, MLS, AHIP, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. Shreveport, LA.
Fears of the plague to polio have ranked as a top concern for parents. With the advent of drug resistant infections invading the locker rooms of schools, parents have new reason to fear germs and wonder how they should be treated. Harley A. Rotbart, MD a pediatric infectious disease physician at the Children’s Hospital of Denver and faculty member at the University of Colorado School of Medicine tries to take the fear out of pediatric infection and educate parents on ways to protect and treat their children.
Dr. Rotbart provides an entertaining and educational book exploring infectious diseases, prevention methods and treatments. There are several significant sections of the book. One section “Worthy Enemies” discusses the different germs and how they are spread. Another excellent discussion is in “Weapons in the War” focusing on the body’s natural defenses, antibiotics, antivirals, vaccinations (always a hot topic) and the use of nonprescription drugs. In “Wear Your Boots In The Rain” he focuses on the steps parents can take to keep their children healthy and discusses myths. While this book is fascinating to read it is only for the highly educated consumer (high school level or higher). A useful tool that is missing from the book is illustrations and pictures. At several points these would have been useful visual aids. There are truly no other books attempting to convey to consumers the depth of the information covered in this book. Consumer health libraries and public libraries will find this book useful for their collections and may consider putting it in the reference collection for quick perusal by their patrons. Parents though may want to read it cover to cover and in the end may want to have as a ready reference in their home libraries.
Reviewed By: Julia Esparza, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Medical Library, Shreveport, LA.
(Terri Couwenhoven, M.S., is an AASECT certified sexuality educator. Her other publications include Beginnings: A Parent/Child Sexuality Program for Families with Puberty-Aged Children with Developmental Disabilities and Teen-to-Teen: A Sexuality and Life Skills Teaching System for Teens.)
As a certified sex educator and parent to a daughter with Down syndrome, Terri Couwenhoven has both professional expertise and personal experience related to this complex and sensitive topic. She provides practical information about sexual development and presents it with the understanding of one who has “been there” as a parent.
From privacy to puberty, masturbation to marriage, family planning to fallopian tubes, and hygiene to healthy intimacy, this guide addresses issues that other books gloss over or avoid. Using straightforward language and uncomplicated diagrams, it debunks the myths surrounding sex and people with disabilities, and offers direct instruction strategies to help children with intellectual disabilities take care of their bodies and understand their sexual selves. There are also useful chapters on exploitation prevention, and sex education in schools.
At first glance, worksheets and teacher terminology make this book seem more for teachers than parents. However, the information it contains will be valuable to parents who utilize “teachable moments” to interact naturally with children, as Couwenhoven suggests. Couwenhoven’s style is effective and easy to follow. She peppers her highly readable text with key points, marked by easy-to-spot icons, including short pieces she calls Parental Pauses. These thought-provoking questions and comments help parents gain insight into their own views regarding sexuality.
Although the title suggests this book is intended for those caring for children with Down syndrome, its content is applicable to a wide range of individuals with cognitive differences. In fact, this guide would be useful for parents of any child, with or without disabilities, wanting to encourage a healthy sex positive attitude.
Reviewed by: Nancy C. Seeger, M.Ed., MLIS, Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, Cleveland, OH.
The popular Dummies books are now available in Spanish. These two titles cover high-interest topics, pregnancy and diabetes. They are easy to read and understand, current, and inexpensive. Written by physicians with academic affiliations, they provide accurate information and support for patients and their families.
Embarazo para Dummies covers the basics of conception, pregnancy, prenatal care, labor, and delivery. The authors provide detailed advice about a healthy lifestyle for expectant mothers including a good diet, medications and substances to avoid, exercise, and adjusting to changes in the body. They also include advice about selecting a health care practitioner and using a doula during labor. A handy tear-out page at the front of the book gives readers a form to fill in with the contact information for health care providers and the hospital, a list of things to bring with them, and a chart with information about prenatal appointments and fetal growth. The book also covers complications and conditions that may make a pregnancy high risk, premature birth, coping with the loss of a pregnancy and birth defects, and information for fathers.
Diabetes para Dummies takes a no-nonsense approach, telling patients that they can live with diabetes and urging them to take charge. The author explains both type 1 and type 2 diabetes and tells readers how the disease affects the body. He provides information about dealing with hyper and hypoglycemia, neuropathy, renal problems, retinopathy, and sexual dysfunction. He also offers detailed plans for adequate nutrition, weight control, and exercise for diabetic adults and children. His information about scams and cures that do not work is valuable, as is his information about useful Web sites. Many of the Web sites are in English and MedlinePlus is conspicuously absent, but the sites included are all reliable. This is an excellent book for diabetics.
Both of these titles are highly recommended for consumer health collections serving Spanish speakers.
Reviewed By: Barbara M. Bibel, Oakland Public Library, Oakland, CA.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, degenerative and fatal brain disease affecting as many as 5 million Americans. Drawing on up-to-date information on Alzheimer’s disease and experiences from his clinical practice, Dr. Marwan Sabbagh - a geriatric neurologist, founder of the Sun Health Research Institute's Cleo Roberts Center for Clinical Research in Phoenix, and author of numerous articles on Alzheimer's research – covers the current knowledge on Alzheimer’s disease. He provides an overview of the condition and treatment, but the main focus is on strategies to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Included are tools to assess your personal risk in developing Alzheimer’s disease (diabetes, body weight, heart conditions, HRT, etc.), as well as practical steps that you can take to keep your mind active and your body healthy.
Dr. Sabbagh’s personal experience in caring for a relative with Alzheimer’s disease also gave him compassion and empathy for the many Alzheimer’s caregivers. On a positive note, he believes that Alzheimer’s disease can be diagnosed during life and is treatable. The latter part of the book discusses the treatments and their complications for Alzheimer's disease, as well as promising new developments.
There is a plethora of books on Alzheimer’s disease – a search of the Barnes & Noble site yielded 1,164 items. The classic work for caregivers still remains The 36 Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for Persons with Alzheimer Disease, Related Dementing Illnesses, and Memory Loss in Later Life, last published in 2006. There are other works on preventing this condition, such as the 2005 book Preventing Alzheimer's: Ways to Help Prevent, Delay, Detect, and Even Halt Alzheimer's Disease and Other Forms of Memory Loss by William Rodman Shankle, Daniel G. Amen and Leeza Gibbons. However, The Alzheimer’s Answer both summarizes the current thinking about prevention and treatment (which quickly changes), and includes information for caregivers. Although the book covers some difficult medical concepts, it is clearly written at a level that is accessible to consumers. Extensive bibliographic references are provided for each chapter. Highly recommended for consumer health collections.
Reviewed By: Susan Murray, Consumer Health Information Service, Toronto Public Library, Toronto, Canada.
Linda Simmons is a psychologist in Kansas City, Missouri and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. This book is about creating a “community of one” in situations where there are few or no other sources of support and limited materials resources. Dr. Simmons writes, “The goal of a successful community of one is to enable a person to confidently gain access to a positive community of many.” Toward the book’s end, the reader learns that “a community of one” could also be called “self-esteem and a sense of self worth”.
The first, and largest section of the book consist of nine chapters, each one describing one person’s crisis situation. These include traumatic divorce, chronic disease, spiritual crisis, childhood sexual abuse, adult ADHD and job loss, chronic mental illness, obesity, alcoholism, and domestic violence.
The second section discusses barriers to creating a community of one, such as fear, guilt, thought distortions. There is also a chapter on framing one’s life perspective. The third section elucidates four facets of creating the community of one: growing through grief, creating a map for the future, skill development, and maintaining hope.
A significant part of the last section refers to personal spirituality from a Christian point of view, with a number of quotations from the New International Version Bible. Dr. Simmons writes, “...in a community of one our achievements and possessions are no longer the focus of our existence. Our focus is on our Creator, seeking His approval and following His direction for our life.”
This book may be of interest to those who are dealing with challenges similar to those described in section one, and may provide useful suggestions in sections two and three about coping skills and dealing with one’s own thoughts and emotions.
Reviewed By: Sheila Thomas, Churchville, MD.
As our population becomes increasingly diverse, health care providers must deal with patients who speak other languages, have different cultural traditions, and may have diseases and conditions not normally seen in their clinics. This book edited by two physicians active in immigrant health care has articles from an international group of contributors. The chapters address the major issues concerning the care of immigrants: language assistance and communicating with limited English proficient patients, cultural competence, legal issues, and medical screenings for new immigrants. They also cover the epidemiology of diseases and disorders seen in immigrants, the diseases and disorders affecting them, mental health and illness in immigrants, and chronic illness in immigrants. There is also information about special issues such as health literacy, health care for migrant workers, school readiness and bilingual education, and employment issues. A CD-ROM containing patient education materials and screening questionnaires in multiple languages comes with the book. This is a unique resource that will be useful for any library serving communities with diverse populations.
Reviewed By: Barbara M. Bibel, Oakland Public Library, Oakland, CA.
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.
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