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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Andrea D. Posey, RN, BSN, MSN (University of Alaska Anchorage)
Description: This is a medical-sociological book that discusses disease processes, etiologies, and meanings. It uses accounts of physicians, patients, the media, and the sciences to describe the different aspects of disease. The first edition was published in 1985. This third edition is updated with current references and color illustrations.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a reference or textbook for students who are taking the corresponding course work through the Open University. The author also describes how the book is organized so the general reader can use it. Not knowing which course this book is for, I can't comment on the appropriateness of the objectives.
Audience: The target audience is the student enrolled in coursework at the Open University. The authors are a medical sociologist and a health biologist. They are credible authorities on the topics and discussion in this book.
Features: The book includes descriptions of illness and the stigmas associated with different disease processes. Varying viewpoints are used in order to provide a social context for disease. Several specific disease processes are explored to further assist the student in understanding the point. The book uses excellent illustrations and case studies and has associated audiotapes. There is a glossary at the beginning listing common abbreviations and their meanings.
Assessment: This book allows students to explore illness and disease in a social setting as well as providing medical and biologic information about the specific disease processes. Too frequently, we in the healthcare field overlook the social and political aspects of illness and this book brings these issues to light. This is the last book in a series about health and disease.