ISSN 1535-7821 Vol. 30 No. 4 2014
I hope everyone has enjoyed a lovely autumn, and you’re looking forward to the holiday season! The CAPHIS officers and committee chairs have been busy. Past Chair Christine Marton is working on a new logo for the section – please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org with any suggestions! Lana Brand, Membership Committee Chair, has been looking into contacting potential and renewing CAPHIS members about the value of participating in this vibrant and creative section. You can help by submitting brief (500 words or less) pieces to MLA News about your consumer health outreach efforts, thus providing an inspirational model for others to follow! Just go to https://www.mlanet.org/publications/mlanews for information on how to submit such items.
I myself have been chairing an ad hoc task force investigating the possibility of redeveloping the CAPHIS directory of consumer health libraries that used to appear on the web site. The outcome of these discussions is not yet clear, but I would like to take this opportunity to thank the committee members for their time and input so far this year: Deborah Magnan, Christine Marton, Ophelia Morey, Elizabeth Roberts, Cheryl Rowan and Maggie Shawcross. My appreciation also goes to Kate Corcoran of MLA as well as Lisa Boyd and Stephanie Dennis of the National Library of Medicine and past CAPHIS Chair Meredith Solomon for their advice.
Mary-Kate Haver has some splendid CAPHIS programming lined up for MLA 2015 in Austin, Texas! I won’t steal her thunder, just be sure to check out her updates in this issue of Consumer Connections!
Finally, let me remind you of one of the benefits of CAPHIS membership – our Professional Development Awards and Consumer Health Librarian of the Year Award! The CAPHIS Professional Development Award supports continuing education for CAPHIS members. The CAPHIS Consumer Health Librarian of the Year Award honors exceptional performance in consumer health librarianship. The deadline for submission for consideration of either award is April 1, 2015. Please see http://caphis.mlanet.org/organization/awards.html for more information about requirements and criteria for these awards, as well as relevant forms. In addition, see https://www.mlanet.org/grants/bertolucci.html for information about the Ysabel Bertolucci MLA Annual Meeting Grant! This award, named in memory of former CAPHIS Chair Ysabel Bertolucci, provides support for attendance at MLA. CAPHIS is one of the sponsors of this award, and its deadline is December 1, 2014.
Have a lovely and safe holiday season!
Kay Hogan Smith, Chair, 2014-2015
Consumer and Patient Health Information Section (CAPHIS)
MLA'15: Librarians Without Limits - Austin, Texas
Are you still debating whether you will attend the 2015 Medical Library Association (MLA) Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas? If you need compelling reasons to attend, the Consumer and Patient Health Information Section (CAPHIS) is providing a variety of dynamic knowledge gathering events that you will not want to miss participating in!
CAPHIS is co-sponsoring the following two programs:
The book Crisis without End is a compilation of presentations given during a two-day symposium at the New York Academy of Medicine by a range of physicians, scientists, epidemiologists and physicists from around the world in March, 2013. The symposium was organized by the founding president of Physicians for Social Responsibility, Dr. Helen Caldicott (editor of the volume) as a response to what she describes as “woeful ignorance about radiation biology” by the world’s media representatives and politicians following the catastrophic Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan.
This highly readable compilation acts as a wake-up call and gives an accessible overview of the immediate and long-term dangers of radioactive contamination. Contributors include professors in radiology, radiation biophysics, biological sciences, epidemiology and biomedical anthropology; policy experts; radiation and nuclear waste management specialists; nuclear engineers, and the former Japanese prime minister. The variety of reports cover a range from: historical data, data from Chornobyl and Ukraine, information covering cancer risk, food monitoring, gender matters and studies of radiation releases, and help to put the Fukushima disaster into the larger context of the consequences of worldwide reliance on nuclear power.
Reviewed by Mary Grace Flaherty, SILS, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Katz, Terry, Ph.D. and Beth Malow, M.D., M.S. Solving Sleep Problems in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Guide for Frazzled Families. Woodbine House, 2014. 148p. index. ISBN 978-1606131954. $21.95
The authors have done extensive research in sleep disorders in children, specifically those with ASD. Terry Katz is the co-founder of an ASD sleep clinic at Children’s Hospital Colorado and a licensed psychologist who teaches at JFK Partners, University of Colorado School of Medicine. Beth Malow is a Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University and the mother of two children with ASD. Chapters are well organized and give a concise explanation of the problems that children have falling asleep. Reference sources are listed at the end of chapter. Parents do not need to read the entire book, but can easily skip to the part that is pertinent to their situation. Extensive appendices include surveys and questionnaires to guide the parents, screening tools that are targeted to toddlers, school-aged children and adolescents, a family inventory of sleep habits, and visual supports of bedtime routines. The book has received favorable reviews from Library Journal, V. Mark Durand, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, University of South Florida St. Petersburg and Daniel Coury MD, FAAP, Medical Director, Autism Speaks Autism Network. Parents reviewing the book have noted that the information would be useful for all parents who have children with sleep problems, not limited to ASD children. Recommended for public libraries as well as health libraries.
Reviewed by Cynthia L. Butcher, MLS. MeadWestvaco Family Resource Center, Dayton Children’s Hospital, Dayton, Ohio.
Kellman, Raphael. The Microbiome Diet. Da Capo Lifelong Books 2014, 334 pp,
ISBN 978-0-7382-1765-9, $25.99.
Same diet, new package: The Microbiome Diet book is a new package for a healthy, well-balanced diet. The author spends the first few chapters touting the benefits of the diet and making references to “studies.” However, there are no peer-reviewed journal studies cited; only reports from popular media sources are listed. The “studies” have lots of implied results, but no solid causal evidence to back up the claims.
The author does a great job of cheer-leading for his cause and tends to repeat the same information over and over in the narrative. He does use slightly different examples to make his points. He continually mentions that many people have “leaky gut.” According to sources such as WEB MD, leaky gut means you “have a diagnosis that still needs to be made.” In other words, leaky gut is not a recognized diagnosis in most medical communities although it is in the areas of integrated and alternative medicine.
The principles of the Microbiome diet are sound, although nothing really new. Avoid foods that make you feel bad; cut out gluten, sugar, and (temporarily) eggs and dairy; eliminate “bad” fats; cut down on stress because stress makes you gain weight; and eat lots of fruits and vegetables (just like mom told you).
Supplements are recommended to increase weight loss. There are no data to back up any of the claims that these will repair and or rebalance the microbes in your gut. There are no evidence based studies that these will cause weight loss, either.
A positive aspect of the book is the section with a pantry list, menus and recipes. The second half of the book is filled with these and has many options for healthy eating. Some use ingredients that are a little exotic and may be difficult to find at your local grocery store. However, the plan is well laid out and would be easy to follow.
The book is easy to read, and leaves you with the enthusiastic message that you can lose weight and balance your gut bacteria if you follow this diet. There are two things in the book that would contribute to success if you follow the book. First, the diet is out in detail so that you don’t have to make any decisions about what to eat. Second, it contains a lot of common sense: eat right and you will feel better. Do you need to buy the book for this? Sure, if it helps you stick to the diet. But there is nothing new or magical about it, despite the author’s claims. The author would make a much stronger case if there were scientific evidence to back up his opinions.
Reviewed by Kathy East, MS, Central Peninsula Hospital, Soldotna, AK
The Eye: A Very Short Introduction is one of a series of books “for anyone wanting a stimulating and accessible way to a new subject”. The series includes everything from Anarchism to Bacteria to Nothing (yes – “nothing” is the subject of a book). The author of The Eye is Emeritus Professor of Neurobiology at University of Sussex and Fellow of the Royal Society. The book is pocket-sized and the type is about 8 points, which could be difficult to read for patients with eye conditions. It doesn’t focus on eye conditions though - that whole section is only four pages long. While some uncommon diseases are mentioned (patients with prosopagnosia are incapable of recognizing faces), other common conditions (dry eye, conjunctivitis, etc.) are not addressed. Disease treatment information is terse: “If detected early, glaucoma can be treated easily with eye drops that reduce the intra-ocular pressure” is all that is included about treatment of glaucoma.
However, The Eye does not try to be a consumer health book. Nor is it a textbook. It is a fascinating journey into all things eye, and not just human eyes. Readers will find out that only birds of prey have significantly better resolution than humans, sheep can learn to recognize up to 50 individual sheep faces, and pigeons have two foveas (part of the eyes that gaze): one directed to the ground and one directed along their beak. If your library caters to both consumers and staff who are avid readers with curious minds, you may find the perfect audience for this book.
Reviewed by Cara Marcus, Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, Boston, MA
Author Randi Redmond Oster writes a compelling account of her and her son’s experience in the health care system during two surgeries, one of which was related to his Crohn’s disease and the other to a complication from the first surgery. Unlike many autobiographies this book has clear description and a big picture perspective rather than simply a daily account of appointments. Other than a couple of parts where Oster repeats herself, perhaps for emphasis, the writing easily brings the reader into the room with Oster and her son.
Oster’s background is in engineering and business, and worked at GE, therefore her analytical form is ever present, yet it is in a positive way teaching the reader how to be more active and assertive in the medical system. At the end of each chapter there is a take home point of “What You Can Do Now” to reiterate the chapter’s dilemma with tips to deal with the situation.
Accepting everything a physician or nurse says is not how the author faces the decisions in front of her and her family. In a respectful way, this story is an example of how to advocate for your loved one, or yourself, when on the “protocol train” as the author refers to the healthcare system. Not only will patients learn from this book but administrators and clinicians can use this as an opportunity to look at their own systems from the patient’s perspective and how clinicians can provide quality patient-centered care.
Reviewed by Christine Willis, MLIS, Shepherd Center, Atlanta, GA
Stumpf, Tobias with Dawn Schaefer Stumpf. Journal of an ADHD Kid, the Good the Bad and the Useful. Woodbine House, 2014. 135 pp. ISBN 9781606132500. $16.95. (available in print format only - paperback)
Written by a middle school adolescent and edited by his mother, this book is a spiral bound journal written from the depths of an ADHD youngster’s mind. The book includes descriptions of behaviors associated with inattentive ADHD woven into day-to- day experiences that the young man encounters. Written in a chapter format in large printed lines on notebook paper, the end of each chapter has a journaling section that covers questions and concepts from the chapter, and well as a free text section for the reader to write down their own personal feelings and concerns.
Topics covered include how ADHD is diagnosed using a number of specialists including teachers, psychologists, school nurses, and parents; taking specific tests to determine attention span and distractibility while noting that the tests were not graded and were repeated later to see if treatments were working. Other chapters address different kinds of ADHD, behavioral issues, the difficulties in making and maintaining lasting friendships, homework and organizational tips, and famous people who also have been diagnosed with ADHD.
The format of this book is perfect for a child with ADHD (late elementary to middle school level) and their parents, teachers and caregivers. This book would complement a library’s section on special needs and disabilities. Other texts on the subject that are focused on helping the child with ADHD understand how his/her brain works and offers skill practice are The ADHD Workbook for Kids: Helping Children Gain Self-Confidence, Social Skills, and Self-Control by Lawrence Shapiro, PhD and The ADHD Workbook for Teens: Activities to Help You Gain Motivation and Confidence by Lara Hanos-Webb.
Reviewed by Carol Ann Attwood, MLS, AHIP, MPH, RN, C, Patient and Health Education Library, Scottsdale, AZ
Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are, unfortunately, facts of modern life. The daily news often covers the effects of this condition. Dr. van der Kolk, founder and medical director of the Trauma Center in Brookline, MA and professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine, has written a fascinating and empowering book about trauma and its effects. He uses modern neuroscience to demonstrate that trauma physically affects the brain and the body, causing anxiety, rage, and the inability to concentrate. Victims have problems remembering, trusting, and forming relationships. They have lost control. Although news reports and discussions tend to focus on war veterans, abused children, domestic violence victims, and victims of violent crime suffer as well. Using a combination of traditional therapy techniques and alternative treatments such as EMDR, yoga, neurofeedback, and theater, patients can regain control of their bodies and rewire their brains so that they can rebuild their lives. The author uses case histories to demonstrate the process. He includes a resource list, bibliography, and extensive notes. This accessible book offers hope and inspiration to those who suffer from trauma and those who care for them. It is an outstanding addition to all library collections.
Reviewed by Barbara M. Bibel. Oakland Public Library, Oakland, CA
The response to one of the sample questions from Al Vernacchio’s “question box” in his high school course on “Sexuality and Society” is illustrative of his general approach to the subject and his empowering faith in his students: “Q: What does society say when girls lose their virginity as opposed to boys? A: The first thing I want to say about this question is beware what ‘society’ says about issues involving human sexuality. We live in a pretty sexually unhealthy society in this country, and often the messages that are put out are not helpful in the development of healthy sexuality.” (p. 127). Indeed, Vernacchio’s honest, compassionate and accepting method of teaching this loaded subject seems a welcome antidote to the heavy-handed, moralizing tone of too many high school sex education courses. With For Goodness Sex, he takes the reader with him through the sections of his course, providing pointers along the way for dealing with uncomfortable topics and situations for parents and teachers alike. Vernacchio, who has a master’s in human sexuality education – “not just some creepy old guy who likes to talk about sex,” as he puts it - is well-qualified, and his Quaker school takes a more progressive, evidence-based approach than other school systems. If this book is any indication, Vernacchio’s course should be a model for high schools around the country. Highly recommended for all sex education collections.
Reviewed by Kay Hogan Smith, UAB Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences, Birmingham, AL
As a self-claimed home chef, Dr. Young combines her passions for cooking and optometry to deliver a cookbook filled with recipes to promote ocular health and vision. Instead of being a compilation of selected chef’s recipes, she has crafted her own recipes, using spices and nutrient –rich foods known for their health benefits. Her background brings a Mediterranean flair to her recipes, but they will appeal equally to other culinary cultures. From snacks to dinner entrees, there are selections for picky eaters as well as and those with special dietary preferences or restrictions. Her cooking steps are conversational and easy to follow and key nutrients are listed for each recipe. Most of the recipe ingredients are well-known and readily available, but some may be new or harder to find. Beautiful photographs by Ann Marie Coutts bring the recipes to life. Dr. Young does a nice job of explaining the science and research about nutrients in lay language and provides plenty of examples. She offers useful cooking tips and an extensive appendix with information on herbs, a glossary and references.
Reviewed by Nancy O’Brien, UnityPoint 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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