ISSN 1535-7821 Vol. 25 No. 4 2009
New Toxicology Tutorial Available
ToxLearn, a new NLM resource, is now available. http://toxlearn.nlm.nih.gov
ToxLearn is a multi-module online learning tool that provides an introduction to toxicology. It can be used as an ancillary curriculum to a first-level undergraduate toxicology course, and can provide users of NLM’s toxicology databases with a working knowledge of basic toxicology principles. ToxLearn modules will be made available as they are completed. Module 1 covers “Toxicology and Dose Response.”
ToxLearn is an update of NLM ToxTutor, which was designed to provide a basic understanding of toxicology as an aide for users of toxicology literature contained in the National Library of Medicine’s toxicological and chemical databases. http://sis.nlm.nih.gov/enviro/toxtutor.html
ToxLearn will update and expand on the ToxTutor effort.
Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC)
The NLM Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC) has added and updated several pages
A significantly new version of TOXMAP is expected to be released in 2010. This update will feature a completely new underlying Geographical Information System (GIS). Maps will be more intuitive and will provide mouse-based dynamic pan-and-zoom, click to pop-up feature details, satellite and topographic overlays, and additional geospatial query capabilities. TOXMAP will still contain links to NLM chemical and environmental health resources, as well as to the EPA and CDC. http://toxmap.nlm.nih.gov
Tox Town has added “Endocrine Disruptors” to its list of over thirty chemicals. Information on this group of substances, which may interfere with human hormones, is available in both English and Spanish. http://www.toxtown.nlm.nih.gov/text_version/chemicals.php?id=65
On August 13, 2009, Tox Town was awarded the MERLOT Health Sciences Classics Award, which recognizes exemplary online learning resources. http://www.toxtown.nlm.nih.gov/text_version/whatsnew.php
REMM (Radiation Event Medical Management)
The NLM Radiation Event Medical Management resource (REMM) has updated/added:
New animated images/illustrations
- Radiation Contamination (5 images; http://www.remm.nlm.gov/contamimage.htm)
- Radiation Exposure (2 images; http://www.remm.nlm.gov/exposureimage.htm)
- Factors that Decrease Radiation from Exposure: Time, Distance, Shielding
- Radiological Dispersal Device: Explosive
- Radiological Dispersal Device: Non-explosive
- Radiological Exposure Device: Hidden Sealed Source
- Simulated Radiological Exposure Device (RED) on Skin Illustrating Dose Attenuation
Class Opportunity: TOXNET® and Beyond
The TOXNET® and Beyond class covers using the National Library of Medicine's Environmental Health and Toxicology Portal.
Classes will be held Wednesday, February 24, 2010, in Bethesda, MD; Friday, February 26, 2010 in San Antonio, TX; and Tuesday, March 9, 2010 in Miami, FL from 9:00 AM- 4:00PM local time. http://nnlm.gov/ntcc/classes/schedule.html#class5
This full-day class is designed to convey the basics of searching the NLM's TOXNET, a web-based system of databases in the areas of toxicology, environmental health, and related subjects. Students learn the content and structure of files covering toxicology data, toxicology literature, toxic releases, and chemical searching and nomenclature. Among the databases highlighted are TOXLINE®, the Hazardous Substances Data Bank, the Integrated Risk Information System, the Toxic Release Inventory, and ChemIDplus. This class is for U.S. domestic searchers. There are no fees for training but students must cover their own travel and lodging. Classes are held throughout the United States. The training schedule and other details are available from the National Training Center and Clearinghouse. http://nnlm.gov/ntcc
The TOXNET class is awarded 6 MLA continuing education credits. http://nnlm.gov/ntcc/classes/schedule.html#class5
Follow NLM Division of Specialized Information Services (SIS) on Twitter
Twitter is a free service that helps users keep in touch with people through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What's happening? Join today to start receiving NLM_SIS's tweets. http://twitter.com/NLM_SIS
Stay Updated! NLM-Tox-Enviro-Health-L is an email announcement list available from the National Library of Medicine (NLM)'s Division of Specialized Information Services (SIS). The purpose of the announcement list is to broadcast updates on SIS's resources, services, and outreach in toxicology and environmental health. The NLM-Tox-Enviro-Health-L Archives allow users to search list postings, and to modify subscription options. To subscribe to the NLM-Tox-Enviro-Health-L announcement list, please send the following text in the body of an email to email@example.com: SUBSCRIBE NLM-Tox-Enviro-Health-L your name or use the list serv web page: http://sis.nlm.nih.gov/enviro/envirolistserv.html
Submitted by Colette Hochstein, D.M.D., MLS (Colette@nlm.nih.gov), Division of Specialized Information Services, NLM
Community Day was a pilot project sponsored by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM). The principle goal of the pilot was to assist libraries in becoming active partners in their community’s emergency preparedness, response and recovery planning. Participation in Community Day strove to make libraries part of "Ready America," the Department of Homeland Security's nationwide effort encouraging all Americans to take simple steps in preparing for possible emergencies in their homes, businesses, schools and communities.
The Community Day pilot project was also to promote NLM's emergency preparedness Web resources such as MedlinePlus Disaster Preparation and Recovery, the Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC) and the NN/LM's Emergency Preparedness and Response Toolkit. The sites were designed to assist Network members in maintaining their information services during disasters.
Community Day had five major objectives:
Three libraries were chosen as Community Day sites:
Each site received a stipend of $5,000 to plan and implement their Community Day events. The NN/LM Consumer Health Coordinators formed an informal working group to assist with the planning of the pilot project. A Community Day Toolkit of emergency preparedness, response and recovery resources and suggested activities was created by an NLM Associate Fellow for the pilot project participants.
On September 12, 2009 the Community Health Information Partnership (CHIP) of the Curtis Memorial Library, the Mid Coast Hospital and the Parkview Adventist Medical Center joined by the Brunswick Fire Department and the Southern Maine Regional Resource Center hosted a Community Day event at the Curtis Library. A diverse group of emergency response organizations exhibited and disseminated information to the residents of the mid-coast Maine area of Brunswick, Topsham, Bath, the Harpswell Islands and the surrounding area.
The Partnership of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Robert M. Bird Health Sciences Library and the Metropolitan Library System of Oklahoma City held a Community Day event on October 24, 2009 to heighten the awareness of the citizens of Oklahoma County about potential hazards and how to prepare and deal with disasters.
The Sarasota County Library System held "Community Preparedness Day: Be Informed, Be Prepared" in collaboration with the Sarasota Emergency Services, the Sarasota Health Department, Public Communications and the Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s Bishopric Medical Library. An entire day of speakers, exhibitors, children’s programming and emergency response displays and demonstrations were held on September 26, 2009.
The staff of the Outreach Evaluation Resources Center (OERC) is currently conducting process evaluations of the three Community Day pilot projects. They will collect qualitative information through pre-pilot and post-pilot interviews with individuals at the participating sites who managed the Community Day events and through post-pilot focus group interviews with representatives from partner organizations. The final evaluation report will include an analysis of what worked, what lessons were learned, what might have been done differently and what recommendations would be given to future Community Day project sites.
Since the inception of Community Day several of the NN/LM Regional Medical Libraries (RMLs) now offer a region-wide Community Day funding award that is based on the pilot program.
Submitted by Lisa Boyd, Consumer Health Librarian, National Network Office of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, NLM
CAPHIS Top 100 Health Websites Updated for 2010
Accessible via http://caphis.mlanet.org/consumer/index.html or as a 16-page PDF, the purpose of the CAPHIS Top 100 Health Websites is to have a limited number of resources that meet the quality criteria for currency, credibility, content, audience, etc., for consumer health information. Subject areas include General Health, Women's Health, Men's Health, Parenting & Kids, Senior Health, Specific Health, For Health Professionals, Drug Information Resources, and Other Useful Health Websites. These lists of resources expand upon the Medical Library Association (MLA) Top Ten List.
Mobile MedlinePlus includes many of your favorite MedlinePlus and MedlinePlus en español pages in a display that is optimized for mobile devices.
Mobile MedlinePlus includes
Some features from MedlinePlus.gov are not available on Mobile MedlinePlus due to technical constraints.
There is an FAQ on the full MedlinePlus site at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/faq/mobile.html that includes special instructions for Blackberry users.
Cancer Information for Teens begins with an introduction to cancer, and brief descriptions of risk factors that may be associated with cancer. This book is a broad overview of basic cancer concepts for young people and does not delve deep into the world of treatment options and/or specific diagnoses. The second part of the book is about cancer that is most prevalent with teens. There are chapters dealing with the treatment of certain types of cancer, how to cope with the treatment, and survivorship. One of the strengths of this book is the information on coping strategies for family members of a teen with cancer. The book ends with additional reading suggestions, lists of resources for teens, and further cancer resources. Another advantage to Cancer Information for Teens is the extensive resources listed throughout the book including web addresses, citations, and resources for support and advocacy.
The writing level is appropriate for younger adults. Most of the extensive medical terms are accompanied by pronunciation keys. There is a disconnection between the text of the chapters and the small information It's a Fact bubbles that appear throughout. The It's a Fact segments are written in a more casual, personable style contrasting with the rest of the content and are not written consistently. Bakewell and Bellenir’s book would make a good companion to a cancer collection for teens and young people in a public library, resource center, or school library. It has an extensive list of resources and further reading that would benefit a teen diagnosed with cancer, a friend of a teen with cancer, or a family member.
Reviewed by: Samantha Mueller MSIS, Dell Children’s Medical Center, Family Resource Center, Austin, TX
This is a second edition, revised and updated from the 2001 edition, co-written by women who were both diagnosed with PCOS themselves. The authors show a deep passion for women with PCOS, a complex hormone imbalance caused by a disorder in the endocrine system. Angela Best Boss is the health education director of The Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Association (PCOSA), the international PCOS support group. She also serves as director of communications for the local Indiana PCOS chapter. Her frequent articles on PCOS and infertility are published online at www.conceivingconcepts.com. Evelina Sterling is a certified health education specialist and consultant to various nonprofit agencies in health services research. She holds a BS in biology and an M.S. from Johns Hopkins University. Jerald Goldstein, MD, board certified, is a reproductive endocrinologist and OB/GYN physician in Dallas, Texas. He has extensive experience in infertility, PCOS, and recurrent miscarriage.
This book is well-written and easy to understand. The authors use women’s stories to illustrate the many complexities of this disorder. We have three other books on this topic, (Healing Syndrome O by Feinberg, 2004, PCOS Dietbook by Harris, 2002, and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome by Eden 2005) which are all good, but I think this one is my favorite in its ease of use; clear definitions of terms and explanations of difficult subjects such as how the endocrine system is involved; a whole chapter on stress and anxiety and relaxation tools, and of course being the most current book. They do a great job of providing the information on how to select and find a good physician to manage PCOS, ask the right questions, become knowledgeable and proactive to seek the most current treatments available, and to better cope emotionally with PCOS once diagnosed.
In addition to an excellent index and glossary, the book includes great resources on research that is continuing in this field and the importance of participating in clinical trials, as there is still so much that is unknown about this condition. It would be a good addition to any consumer health library shelf.
Reviewed by: Theresa Johnson, MLIS, Sutter Resource Library, Sacramento, CA
Explaining cancer to a child can be difficult. This book written by Ms. Fead, a cancer survivor, and her eleven-year-old granddaughter, and beautifully illustrated by Shennen Bersani, uses a question and answer format to explain the disease and clear up common misconceptions about it. Using simple language they discuss the possible causes of cancer and explain that it is not contagious, that it can affect anyone, and that there are effective treatments available. They also discuss prevention and touch upon other issues that may be of concern to children such as childhood cancers and cancer in animals. They mention that it is acceptable to feel sad about the fact that a loved one has cancer and talk about things that children can do to help family members who are ill. The book has a glossary and a brief bibliography. This is an excellent volume for public and consumer health libraries. Adults and children can read it together and discuss it.
Reviewed by: Barbara M. Bibel. Oakland Public Library, Oakland, CA.
Hollingham, (How to Clone the Perfect Blonde) science journalist and author presents a written companion to the BBC documentary series, Blood and Guts. The author provides the disclaimer that this is not the history of surgery, rather a history of surgery. He highlights significant events thematically in surgical history and focuses only on certain areas of surgery specialties.
Hollingham begins with a chapter entitled, Bloody Beginnings. This very descriptive chapter describes scenes of patients screaming in terror while being operated on before the days of affective anesthetic and pain relief. Others bleed to death because surgeons have not yet learned how to tie off blood vessels to stem bleeding. Those who are lucky enough to survive the actual surgical procedure may die days later from infection, as consequence of doctors not understanding the need for effective infection control measures. Once the four barriers to successful surgery (understanding of the anatomy, stemming blood loss, pain control, and infection control) were successful conquered, only then could surgery advance.
In other chapters, the author describes advances in open heart surgery, transplantation, plastic surgery, and brain surgery. Throughout, Hollingham uses descriptive patient stories to highlight the advances in surgery and leaders in the field. Hollingham’s accounts and descriptions are entertaining and his work is highly readable. While not for the serious researcher of surgery, lay readers will find his work engaging and valuable introduction to the history of surgery and those who contributed to the advancement of surgery.
Also included are two, eight page black and white photo inserts (not seen by reviewer). The author provides a surgical history timeline which adds value for the reader to see the chronological events as the stories are written thematically. While Hollingham provides suggestions for further reading, it would have been more beneficial to the reader to have access to a complete bibliography of the resources used. All in all, lay readers interested in the history of surgery will find this an entertaining and well written introduction. Recommended for most public libraries.Reviewed by: Dana Ladd, Community Health Education Center, Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences. Richmond, VA.
Written by the prolific author of the What to Expect series of books from Workman Publishing and mother of two, Heidi Murkoff, What To Expect Before You're Expecting is a comprehensive and easy-to-read book for couples on planning to conceive. The content is organized chronologically, from the early stages of preconception planning, to the biology of fertilization and conception, possible issues and challenges to fertility. Lastly, there is an entire section on documentation to assist with planning, which includes many checklists, a daily food diary; an extensive health history; fertility charts with instructions; and blank lists to fill in for fertility tests, medications, procedures, specialists, and visits. The book concludes with a one-page glossary of preconception terms, several lined blank pages for journaling the preconception process, and an extensive subject index.
The strengths of this consumer health publication are its comprehensive approach to preconception planning; the inclusion of information on reproductive health for male partners; the straightforward and common sense writing style, and access to additional information online on the WhatToExpect.com website, which also offers support through participation in message boards. However, there are several shortcomings. Frequent use of colloquialisms and abbreviations can be rather distracting. The structure of the content could be improved by reducing the number of text boxes and incorporating this text into the main body of each chapter. Another design issue is the paucity of visual elements; there are very few illustrations and no diagrams of photos. With respect to content, biomedical topics are covered in detail. However, despite frequent reference to scientific studies, citations for journal articles, textbooks, and government publications are not provided. The authoritativeness of this publication is difficult to ascertain because the professional credentials of the authors and many contributors, with the exception of the medical advisor, are not clearly stated.
Reviewed by: Christine Marton, MSc, MISt, PhD Cand., Adjunct Instructor, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario.
Nandkishore, Purnima. Amrit: Luscious & Heart-Healthy Indian Meals. Sugandhi, 2009 183 p. index, ISBN: 9780615270623 Wire bound, paperback, $24.99 Amritforheart.com (available from publisher directly).
Indian cuisine is known for its spices and vegetables, however the long cooking times and deep frying often used negate the benefits. Asian Indians resident in the US and UK have significantly elevated levels of diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 60% of the world’s cardiac patients are Asian Indian in origin. As a result of a family diagnosis, this book was produced as an attempt to offer traditional recipes in heart friendly, dietician checked, versions. Each recipe contains detailed ingredients and equipment lists, nutritional analysis as well as minutely detailed preparation methods. At the end of each recipe is a discussion of the nutritional values and heart health promoting properties of selected ingredients.
Be warned – this is not a book for learning how to cook Indian food. The recipes are complex, the ingredients lists daunting and recipe selection insufficient for many meals. Preparation times alone will make this food very much a labour of love or a special project for advanced cooks or those with Indian grandmothers to do the chopping.
Although well written and fully indexed with ingredients descriptions and containing a huge impeccable bibliography of medial references, I believe the audience for this book will be very small. It might serve as an interesting addition to a consumer health library serving a large urban metropolitan area with larger populations of Asian Indians. I do not see it as a popular item for a public or generalized consumer health collection. Perhaps a better general audience choice would be Healthy Indian Cooking for Diabetes: Delicious Khana for Life by Azmina Govindji (ISBN - 13:9781856267892)Reviewed by: Elyse Pike, Health Sciences Librarian, Grey Bruce Health Services, Owen Sound, Canada
Diana Rabb, a practicing nurse, originally wrote this book during her own high-risk pregnancy and adaptor Dr. Norwitz has edited various obstetrics textbooks. The book begins with clear descriptions and illustrations of reproduction and conception. A section on nutrition during pregnancy provides guidance for women who may be lactose intolerant, vegetarian, or have related special diet needs. The chapter about pregnancy high-risk factors (including heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.) discusses issues for both mother and baby, including breastfeeding. Conditions arising during pregnancy, such as gestational hypertension, are also addressed. Pregnant women will learn about little-known risks to their baby, such as potential lead exposure from deposits on crops. However, the general tone of the book is reassuring, rather than alarming, and provides practical summaries on how providers address each issue. Helpful chapters include bed rest, Cesarean birth and premature babies; a supportive chapter on pregnancy loss contains many quotes from those who have experienced loss. The last chapter, Special Concerns, briefly touches on areas like pregnant single parents, teen pregnancies and abusive relationships. Each chapter ends with a journaling corner, with questions like, "Do you understand all the risks of your situation?" Appendices include a glossary and support groups in the US and Canada. An in-depth bibliography contains hyperlinks, but it would have more been helpful if footnotes were also included in the text.
Reviewed by: Cara Helfner, Director of Library Services, Faulkner Hospital, Boston, MA.
Diagnosed with thyroid cancer at age 27, choreographer Rosenthal emerged from treatment determined to find her peer community of young adult cancer survivors and to share their stories. Now a patient advocate and blogger who has been featured in the New York Times and on NPR's Fresh Air, Rosenthal has written a compelling book that is part interview, part guidebook, and part advocacy manifesto. She observes that many young adults between 20 and 39 are not diagnosed until their cancer is advanced. They are dismissed by doctors as "too young" to have cancer even when presenting with classic symptoms, or because they have inadequate or no health insurance. Rosenthal found that among the 70,000 young adults diagnosed with cancer every year, 25% do not survive.
Pulling no punches, the author and her interviewees are frank about personal issues including dating, sex and intimacy and the challenge of both needing their parents’ support and feeling smothered by it. The medical establishment and health insurers are leveled by these young people’s blunt and, sometimes, indigent opinions. As the book continually reminds readers, this is an underserved and unknown patient population who deserve to be heard. The emergence of websites like Planet Cancer and Rosenthal's own blog (http://everythingchangesbook.com) is evidence of that.
Each chapter ends with a resource section that includes how-to tips and research information as well as Internet, address, and telephone contacts. The book is well-indexed. This book is unique and fills a gap in cancer literature. It is highly recommended for consumer health and public libraries.
Reviewed by: Abigail Jones, MLIS, MA, Library for Health Information & John A. Prior Health Sciences Library, The Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus, OH
Len Saputo, MD, shares with us his story of how, as a practicing physician, he came to see the need for radical health care reform. He discusses everything from personal anecdotes, cites research, supply side – physician training – to policy issues that need to be addressed to transform the medical professional from one of treating symptoms to one that cares for and treats the whole person, and understands how each part of the body is inter-connected. This reviewer would suggest that the authors are discussing systems redesign for the health professions, with the new system practicing an integrative, or integral, medicine that treats patients with care, respect and more-to-the-point holistically.
Dr. Saputo shares how through medical training at Duke University he was programmed to de-personalize the entire process of caring for a patient. He cites both clinical studies and newspaper articles on practitioner burnout, FDA scandals on drug approvals, and the lack of scientific support for many clinical interventions. He cites several studies such as the 1978 report by the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment stating "No more than fifteen percent of medical interventions are supported by reliable scientific evidence1," the 1991, Richard Smith, editor of BMJ, comment that "only one percent of the articles in medical journal are scientifically sound and partly because many treatments have not been assessed at all2," and JAMA: "much, if not most, of contemporary medical practice still lacks a scientific foundation3." This reviewer might add a recent study (Arch Intern Med. 2006;166:1021-1026) reported that approximately 20% of all prescriptions are off-label, 73% of which have "little or no scientific support." These statistics underscore the need for consumers to know about off-label options and be aware of relevant research such that they can make informed decisions regarding prescriptions.
Dr. Saputo, after years of working in a respected San Francisco Bay Area hospital, opened a private clinic in the area using a different model of medicine. He's adopted a model, of "which the scientific core involves four main factors, and each is addressed at the cellular level: 1) nutritional needs of our cells; 2) elimination of toxic substances; 3) genetic defects; and 4) psychospiritual factors" (p. 74). These four factors address many of the environmental contributions to negative and positive health, personalized genomics and medicine, the effects of stress on the whole self, and the use of both allopathic and complementary medicine to produce what many refer to as 'integral medicine.'
Much of the discussion on policy isn't new material, but reiterates the need for access to healthy foods, exercise, the mind-body connection, medicine as a right not a privilege (remembering that many in the U.S. do not have access to the health care system), and profit vs. service. This is a compelling book that should be read by the MLA membership and be made available to anyone wanting to thoughtfully participate in the current U.S. healthcare debate. Recommended for all libraries.
Reviewed by: Howard Fuller, Program Manager, Stupski Foundation, San Francisco, CA.
Smith, Pamela Wartian MD, MPH. What You Must Know About Women's Hormones: Your Guide to Natural Hormone Treatments for PMS, Menopause, Osteoporosis, PCOS, and More. SquareOne Publishers, 2010. 246p. index. ISBN: 978-0-7570-0307-3.
Dr. Pamela Wartian presents the broad, complex subject of women’s hormones and their effect on women’s wellness in a concise, easy-to-understand manner. Wartian uses the analogy of a "symphony in tune," to describe the interaction of hormones needed to achieve balance in the body. Well-versed in the complexities of hormones throughout a woman’s life cycle, Dr. Wartian has established expertise in the field of anti-aging. A former emergency room doctor, she is now a diplomate of American Academy of Anti-Aging Physicians; Director of the Fellowship in Anti-Aging, Regenerative, and Functional Medicine; and the owner and director of the Center for Healthy Living.
The book is divided into three major parts. The first part, "Hormones," provides a comprehensive list, description and functions of female hormones. This part also explains the symptoms of hormonal deficiency or excess. The second part, "Ailments and Problems," lists, in alphabetical order, the specific conditions that can arise from hormonal imbalance. These conditions range from acne to endometriosis to migraines and uterine cancer, to name a few. Wartian then discusses supplements and nutrients that can alleviate these conditions. She also clearly states that readers need to consult a physician for individualized medical treatment before following the protocols she suggests. The final part of the book discusses hormone replacement therapy, (HRT) its definition, and how women can thoughtfully evaluate and use it to fill individual needs.
In addition, the book contains comprehensive bibliographical references; an index; and a recommended reading section. This book would be a valuable addition for a consumer health or public library.
Reviewed by: Marie Becker, MLS, St. Joseph Hospital Health Sciences Library, Kokomo, IN.
Gifts 2: How People with Down Syndrome Enrich the World joins a growing body of literature that pushes beyond the scope of medical texts commonly rooted in technical explanations of defects and limitations to focus on the possibilities, achievements, and fortitude of people with Down syndrome. A companion to Gifts: Mothers Reflect on How Children with Down Syndrome Enrich Their Lives, which shared personal experiences of mothers of children with Down syndrome, this collection includes stories by authors with a variety of connections to the condition. Through a series of 76 brief essays (and a couple of poems), these "agents of positive change," including parents, grandparents, siblings, coaches, teachers, friends, as well as others, provide a glimpse into how they have been touched by individuals with this genetic phenomenon.
The conversational writing style makes this volume suitable for most ages and backgrounds, from adolescents up. The brevity and multitude of entries allows readers to easily browse the stories and quickly engage in a number of experiences, however also results in few narratives substantially developing plot or character. The repetition of themes, notably the progression from fear based in ignorance and/or clouded by medical complications, to enlightenment discovered through the affection, perseverance, and aptitude of people with Down syndrome, is comforting, yet might verge on dilution of message for some readers. Most essays are preceded by a picture of those discussed in the text, a worthwhile detail to underscore the authentic and personal nature of each account. Overall, this book successfully utilizes, as the editor, herself mother to a child with Down syndrome, brands, “the chorus of voices,” in order to raise awareness about the significant value the Down syndrome community contributes to this world.
Reviewed by: Judy Rabinowitz, MLIS, Hirsh Health Sciences Library, Tufts University, Boston, MA
Dr. Zorumski, Professor and Head of the Psychiatry Department Washington University in St. Louis and Dr. Rubin, Professor and Vice-Chair of Education at the same location, are from the institution that helped pioneer the evidence-based medical model of the modern study of psychiatry and are well published in the field. Drs. Zorumski and Rubin also have a combined 50 years of teaching patients and families, and wrote this book to help fill the need of a notable lack of consumer health information resources regarding the field of psychiatry. It is estimated that one in three people will need mental health services at some point in their lifetime, yet psychiatry remains a frequently misunderstood field by patients and their families. Perhaps surprising, other medical professionals such as primary care physicians and other specialists also often do not understand what role a psychiatrist has as part of a patient’s care team and this book is a helpful guide for them as well.
In relatively clear but still high reading-level language, the authors define the field of psychiatry, describe the illnesses psychiatrists treat in extensive detail, including treatment options such as medication, psychotherapy and brain stimulation; and conclude with current and future trends in the field. Each chapter ends with helpful ‘take home messages’ consisting of concise bullet points of main ideas from the chapter. The authors note that they do not have expertise in the area of childhood disorders, including autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and thus these common topics for queries about children’s health are not covered in the book. The inclusion of a glossary would have been helpful to have as a quick reference guide to the many terms in the field, and this book is recommended for public libraries and other consumer health collections.
Reviewed by: Nicole S. Dettmar, MSIS, Education and Assessment Coordinator, National Network of Libraries of Medicine/Pacific Northwest Region, Seattle, WA.
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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