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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Mary A. Curran, RN, PhD (University of North Carolina-Charlotte)
Description: This guide to healthcare resources on the Internet is written for a wide audience with varying degrees of expertise. The first four chapters explain content on electronic information access: what the information is; how to find it; how to "bring it home; and, how it can be processed and used. Explanations are well written and understandable. The remaining chapters present explanations and example sources about available health care information, government health resources, online support, self help groups, alternative health care, and reference materials."
Purpose: "People need access to health and medical information for many reasons." However, the author's major purpose isto help the health care consumer use the information resources of the Internet.
Audience: As such, the audience includes health care providers and consumers, novice to expert.
Features: Overall, the book is esthetically pleasing. The graphics, tables, and figures enhance the reader's understanding of the content. While the index is adequate, the glossary is minimal; both sections could use expansion. There is a list "For Further Reading" and three short appendixes that are acceptable additions. They briefly address where to start searches, provide an online master list, and give additional health resources.
Assessment: Regardless of its intended focus, this book does an excellent job of meeting the needs of a broad audience. The book is especially good for the health care consumer, but the neophyte and more experienced Web-searching health care professionals will also find it a worthwhile resource. It is a pleasant change to review a book that does not try to list every Internet resource. Instead the author provides relevant, usable, substantive content about the types of information that are available and how to access them.