Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Karen M. Green, BSN, MSN (University of Chicago Medical Center)
Description: This is a comprehensive instructional guide for teens describing the types of diabetes; basic pathophysiology; treatment modalities, including medications, diet, and exercise; coping mechanisms; and practical solutions. The content derived from leading experts, authorities in the field and government institutes of health, is well documented.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide information to teens who have, or know someone who has, diabetes on managing the disease while preventing complications and leading a healthy life. There is a need for a book about diabetes specifically aimed at teenagers with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes that treats the reader as a person interested in becoming knowledgeable and aware of his/her health. The book is well intentioned and very complete; the teen audience can use the table of contents to determine sections of the book of special interest.
Audience: The book is written for teenagers with diabetes or who have friends or relatives with diabetes. Parents of teens or teachers of teenagers would also benefit. The editor of this book brought the work of the National Institutes of Health, national organizations and associations primarily engaged in diabetes management or education, and leading experts together in an authoritative volume.
Features: The book begins with a general discussion of diabetes facts and statistics. Very quickly the content focuses on self-management of diabetes with the help of the healthcare team listing treatment options and self-management tools. The author includes diet and exercise as well as insulin injection, insulin pumps and medication in the treatment of diabetes. Almost half of the book addresses problems specific to teenagers living with diabetes while trying to maintain a normal, active, social high school life. Since part of the purpose of the book is to assist in the prevention of complications, there is a substantial section on the subject. The book asks and answers questions that teenagers may find uncomfortable to discuss. The closing chapter is especially helpful, with lists of additional books and articles available for further exploration.
Assessment: There are few books written for the teenager with diabetes. In Control: A Guide for Teens with Diabetes, Betschart and Thorn (John Wiley & Sons, 2001) is a short paperback offering tips for self-management, but without the pathophysiology and background found in Diabetes Information for Teens. Diabetes at 14: Choosing Tighter Control for an Active Life (Flower Press, 2003) by Bill Melluish who has type 1 diabetes, is his personal journey to better control in order to compete athletically. However, Diabetes Information for Teens not only contains important information about diabetes, its management, complications, and its effect on lifestyle, it also deals with practical matters such as obtaining a driver's license and what a teenager can expect in school. The information is timely and well researched; some of the material may also be directed towards parents or teachers.