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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Sarah B Lovern, Ph.D(Concordia University of Wisconsin)
Description: This handbook provides short, quick answers for most common pathologies. Definitions and descriptions are succinct but satisfactory for its use as a handbook, and special pediatric and geriatric considerations are highlighted.
Purpose: The author accomplishes her goal of providing a clear and understandable description of health and disease by including elements of physiology necessary for the understanding of the pathophysiology. Starting with the first chapter, basic elements of biology and chemistry are explained as well as general pathophysiological concepts. In subsequent chapters, when relevant, readers are directed back to this first chapter if they need more information on basic physiology. Specific anatomical and physiological concepts are outlined at the beginning of each chapter so that the pathophysiology can then be clearly understood.
Audience: This is a resource for learners at all levels. Students at the collegiate level can understand the material, while professionals will find it a handy reference for areas with which they are unfamiliar or in which they need a refresher. The book includes recent research articles to keep the information up to date.
Features: The handbook is organized into five logical units covering fundamental mechanisms of health and disease, effective and ineffective health protection, integrated control and dysfunction, oxygen balance and deficiencies, and nutrition, elimination, and reproduction function and dysfunction. While this progression is intuitive to those who are well versed in physiology, this sequence helps students organize disease and dysfunction in a clear and concise manner. The inclusion of pediatric and geriatric considerations is a strength of this handbook. For instance, the explanation of stress fractures is followed by highlighted boxes discussing the risks to the elderly and to young athletes. The book could be greatly enhanced by a glossary of key words. Key words are highlighted in the text, but quick definitions in a glossary or integrated into an index/glossary would be ideal.
Assessment: This is a reliable desktop reference. The black-and-white drawings are well drawn and visually portray important concepts. While there is limited use of color, the choice of color images is well thought out and aids comprehension. This conscientious use of color adds value to the handbook while allowing the price to remain reasonable. This new edition was necessary to update the second edition of 1999. I can suggest this handbook as an excellent alternative for my students whose tendency is to just "Google" answers. The language is understandable and the book delivers condensed but thorough explanations.