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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Geri R. Donenberg, PhD (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)
Description: The second edition of this comprehensive handbook includes 141 chapters divided into nine sections focused on health issues specific to women. This encyclopedic reference offers brief abstracts of critical information on diverse topics that cross multiple disciplines and literatures (e.g., psychology, medicine, public health, nursing). The book reviews both traditional and alternative (e.g., acupuncture) treatment approaches, and it covers "older" diseases like arthritis, and new ones like AIDS.
Purpose: The editors state that their goal is to provide a rational integration of what is known about women's health in an easy-to-read format. The text is designed to introduce readers to the most salient issues concerning women's health and to improve the quality of women's healthcare. These objectives are important and the authors accomplish their goals.
Audience: The book is written for consumers, practitioners, scientists, and students and crosses multiple disciplines. It may appeal most to newcomers who require basic and current information about a topic. Professionals and consumers will find the practical suggestions for promoting healthy behavior and treating health problems useful. Contributors are widely recognized science-based experts in their fields and represent multiple disciplines and diverse perspectives.
Features: Chapters are brief (approximately five pages) and some include tables and figures. Each chapter offers a suggested reading list of recent seminal papers and there is a description of each reference. An extensive subject and author index is provided.
Assessment: This book is timely and important; study of behavioral medicine in general, and women's health in particular, has grown in popularity. This authoritative resource covers psychological and physical disorders and offers an exhaustive compendium of topics. Chapters are written by the most well-known people in women's health and medicine and are easy to read, well-written, and informative. It is likely to be a useful reference for many years to come.