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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: James A. Stockman III, MD (American Board of Pediatrics)
Description: This work represents a summary of the findings of the study supported by the European economic community Comite d'Action Concerte, a study examining medicine use, behavior, and children's perceptions of medicines and healthcare. It is a multiauthored text dealing with most aspects of the cultural diversity among populations related to this topic.
Purpose: The book was prepared in response to the increased recognition that variations in medicine use among different populations have a social and cultural component. This material is useful in providing information that can be applied for planning methods to educate children and their families about medicines. Given that children and the manner in which they take medicines do not reflect the concept of children being "little" adults, the purpose of this work is laudable. The discussions achieve the intent of the authors.
Audience: There is no single audience for this book. Anyone interested in cultural variations in medicine use, health education issues as related to children, and related aspects of medical anthropology will find the book fascinating and informative. The authors, largely PhDs with some MD contribution, have backgrounds in pharmacosociology, medical anthropology, pharmacology, and cultural anthropology. They are experts in their fields throughout the world.
Features: Although this book is sparsely illustrated, the illustrations and tables are sufficient to complement the text. The references are quite up-to-date. As a multiauthored volume there is a feeling of some lack of continuity throughout the work, a shortcoming partially overcome by a detailed table of contents and an extensive index.
Assessment: This book is truly unique in that its topic is one that heretofore has not been adequately dealt with in the literature. Readers of varying backgrounds will find the diversity of topics both interesting and informative. Certain areas are truly novel in their approach. Where else could one learn the national diversity which exists in the contents of medicine cabinets throughout the world? Just about everyone can find some aspect of this book worthwhile. Pediatric care providers, social anthropologists, and health educators can learn much from this work.