ISSN 1535-7821 Vol. 28 No. 2 2012
Would you like to contribute more to CAPHIS? Does your library need free books? Become one of our reviewers and help your colleagues choose the best books for your collection. Most issues of Consumer Connections features reviews of new consumer health titles. Watch the CAPHIS email list for a posting titled "New Titles for Review." I list the new books that I have obtained for review there and you need to e-mail me with your choice. It is first come first served, so be prepared! My e-mail box is usually overflowing within a few minutes of posting a list. I include guidelines for reviewing with each book and you will have a month to write the review. It is fun and you are doing a great service for your colleagues by helping them decide where to spend their shrinking book budgets.Submitted by: Barbara Bibel, Book Review Editor, Consumer Connections
Dr. Cowan, a board-certified pediatrician, specializes in holistic developmental pediatrics. He is a fellow of the AAP, a member of the AAP’s section on developmental disabilities, and member of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture and on the faculty of New York Medical College. With over 20 years of experience, he has taken a unique view of ADHD that applies Chinese medicine to his approach to his ADHD patients. As Daniel Amen did with Healing ADD: The Breakthrough Program That Allows You to See and Heal the 6 Types of ADD, Cowan both challenges current thinking and introduces a novel approach to understanding and treating ADHD. For parents of children who may be diagnosed with this condition, this work offers readable, and approachable steps to looking at the diagnosis differently. For parents who are seeking alternatives to simply medicating, and are willing to work on new ways of supporting their child’s focusing style and encouraging the development of building new ways of increasing their focus, Cowan offers guidelines. From introducing his theory, to briefly explaining the five types of focusing styles, to exploring each one more thoroughly in separate chapters, Cowan engages the reader with anecdotes, examples, and constructive activities. The emphasis on Chinese medicine as a way of looking at ADHD may be a bit too far-reaching to some, however, it does present some interesting perspectives that have shown results in his practice. An interesting addition to a consumer health collection, pediatric health collection, or alternative medicine collection.
Reviewed by: Amy Six-Means, Forsyth Medical Center, Winston-Salem, NC.
Johnson, Rebecca L., Steven Foster, Tieraona Low Dog, and David Kiefer. National Geographic Guide to Medicinal Herbs: The World’s Most Effective Healing Plants. National Geographic Society, 2012. 400p. indexes, glossary. ISBN 978-1-4262-0770-6. $40.00.
Written by a team of botanical and medical experts, National Geographic Guide to Medicinal Herbs’ purpose is to “recognize the remarkable healing properties of plants both familiar and rare.” Two of the authors are associated with the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. The book covers seventy-two healing plants and medicinal herbs divided into chapters by body system (respiratory) or category (female health) rather than alphabetically. Each plant’s characteristics, botany, therapeutic uses, and precautions are discussed; a historical time line and recipe under a section called “under the (kitchen) counter” are included. In true National Geographic manner, a full page color photograph of each herb as well as additional photographs is incorporated. Although references to scientific literature are included within the text, they are incomplete. An occasional journal title and year are sometimes given, but usually the text will state something similar to “one clinical trial of 286 people” without any further information. The book contains a general index plus indexes on therapeutic uses and plants, glossary words are bolded within the content, and the reading level of the book is above the twelfth grade.
As a comparison, the PDR for Herbal Medicines contains 700 botanical monographs, each with evidence-based information. The St. John’s wort section alone lists 296 complete references and twelve pages of text. The section on St. John’s wort in National Geographic Guide to Medicinal Herbs is four pages, one of which is the full color photo. For the librarian looking for a complete, comprehensive, and authoritative book on herbal medicines, the National Geographic Guide would not be recommended.
Reviewed by: Donna J. McCloskey, MLIS, AHIP, Health Information Center, Presbyterian Hospital Huntersville, Huntersville, NC and Whitehead-McKenzie Medical Library, Rowan Regional Medical Center, Salisbury, NC
Rosalind Kalb has published many works on multiple sclerosis (MS). In this 5th edition of the book, contributions from 25 health care professionals are compiled to answer common patient questions. Written in a question and answer format, the book is divided into chapters and topical sections that can be read independently or sequentially. The table of contents clearly outlines where to find information such as what MS is, treatments, how to cope with the disease (for both patients and family members), and financial and life planning issues (such as employment and insurance) for patients with MS.
The treatment is not limited to medications; it includes other aspects of treatment such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, and dealing with emotions and physical changes that may accompany MS. Terms that are listed in the book’s glossary are bolded in the text. This is a great feature for readers of all levels, as they know what terms are defined in the back of the book. Although written at a fairly high reading level, the authors often define terms or phrases not included in the glossary, and further references are provided. Included in the book are lists of common medications, resources for patients and caregivers, and suggestions for further reading.
The book is easy to read and provides a wealth of information for patients, families, and caregivers.
Reviewed by Kathy East, MS, Health Resource Center, Central Peninsula Hospital
Kumin, Libby, Ph.D., CCC-SLP. Early Communication Skills for Children with Down Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals, 3rd Edition. Woodbine House, 2012. 390p. ISBN 978-1-60613-066-7. $26.95.Early Communication Skills for Children with Down Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals, 3rd Edition presents authoritative information on the communication issues of children with Down syndrome. Libby Kumin, Ph.D, CCC-SLP has worked with families for over thirty years. Her book and CD-ROM set is designed to explain speech and language characteristics so that good communication skills are used at home, in school and in the community.
Platt, Alan F., James Eckman, M.D. and Lewis Hsu, M.D. Hope and Destiny: The Patient and Parent’s Guide to Sickle Cell Disease and Sickle Cell Trait, revised 3rd ed. 311p. Hilton Publishing, 2011. Pap. $16.95 ISBN 978-0-9841447-0-9.
In the United States, more than 80,000 people live with sickle cell disease. Approximately 3.5 million Americans carry the sickle cell trait. Most are African American or Hispanic. Since there is no cure yet, a guide that helps patients and their families deal with the disease is very helpful. The third edition of this book, written by health care professionals from Emory University and Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, provides a comprehensive overview of Sickle Cell Disease. It covers the genetics, the blood, diagnosis, child development, the effects of the disease at various life stages, and living with sickle cell disease. There are chapters on pain management, depression and anxiety, bone marrow transplant, hydroxyuria therapy, and gene therapy. The book also discusses clinical trials, what one can do to raise awareness of the disease, and navigating the health care system. Stories written by people with sickle cell disease provide real-life accounts of daily coping. A resource guide and an extensive bibliography of clinical literature offer further information. The reading level is high-school. Since there are few current books for patients about sickle cell disease, this detailed guide is a welcome addition to public and consumer health library collections.
Reviewed by: Barbara M. Bibel, Oakland Public Library, Oakland, CA.
Survivors of trauma or other hardships often find strength in unexpected places. In order to learn why and how people cope best in these situations and what motivates them to survive, Southwick and Charney interviewed POW’s, members of the US Army’s Special Forces team, and civilians. Their research uncovered ten recurring themes or “resilience factors” and each one is described in detail. Personal accounts and vignettes illustrate these factors. Some well-known incidents and personalities such as 9-11 and pilot Sullenberger’s landing on the Hudson River are included. As the title suggests, the authors also impart the science and research that supports their work. While this makes the book academic and technical in nature, much information is provided on several levels. Practical coping suggestions are given for individuals, families, parenting, the workplace and the community. The authors believe that embracing even a couple of these strategies will empower people when facing adversity. Recommended for academic libraries or larger consumer health collections. Includes extensive references and Appendix on PTSD.
Reviewed by: Nancy O’Brien, Iowa Health – Des Moines, Des Moines, IA
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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