Description: This book is a compilation of consumer health and patient education information in Spanish on a variety of topics. The materials are from federal and state agencies, health associations, pharmaceutical companies, and other health-related organizations. It includes approximately 300 publications from about 50 sources.
Purpose: The purpose is "...a first attempt to make a wide assortment of Spanish-language health information accessible for consumers and patients by assembling in one place diverse materials." The goal is a laudable one, and the wide variety of topics makes the book valuable to anyone needing Spanish language materials. The editors have published extensively in consumer health, and they have done a good job in amassing a wide variety of information.
Audience: This book is designed for use by consumers, patients, practitioners, health educators, and librarians. It can be used as a quick resource in clinicians' offices for patient handouts, and can be used in consumer health collections in libraries.
Features: It is arranged under 32 topical headings plus a miscellaneous chapter which includes publications that did not fit under any of the topics. Both the table of contents and preface are written in Spanish and English, and it includes appendixes in Spanish with information on PDQ (Physician Data Query) and sources of Spanish language health publications. A title index, a document source index, and subject index are included. Each publication includes the title in Spanish and English, the publisher of the item, and the date of publication. Many publications include information on other resources for the topic, including web sites. Most publications have publication dates within the last few years, but some are older. Most are short and written at a comparatively simple level, but there are no real low-literacy publications included.
Assessment: As the only book of its kind, this is a valuable resource for anyone needing Spanish language consumer health and patient education information. However, it would be easier to use if each document began and ended on its own page; as it is, documents run into each other. It could have been helpful to have the subject index in English as well as Spanish. Perhaps a future edition could provide a CD with the information, so it could easily be printed out. URLs for documents that are on the web would be helpful, especially for printing out or looking for updated information.