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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Ann H. McDonald, PhD (Concordia University of Wisconsin)
Description: This pathophysiology book for nurses is written in a conversational style in an effort to simplify difficult concepts. Unfortunately, the oversimplification leads to scientific inaccuracies, which may ultimately cause more confusion. The organization of the topics is awkward with critical chapters at the end of the book.
Purpose: The editors suggest this book teaches pathophysiology without the "fluff." Although the term "fluff" is not well defined, it apparently is the science behind disease mechanisms. However, without an understanding of the science behind disease development, treatment of human disease would be severely limited. Making the science behind disease accessible to healthcare providers is a worthy goal. Oversimplifying the information is not.
Audience: The target audience is not clearly identified. The book apparently targets nurses, but what type of nurse (RN, LPN, CNA) is not stated. The conversational tone and cartoonish figures suggest an audience with a two-year degree or less. The editors have post-baccalaureate degrees in nursing, but none in the biological sciences.
Features: The book covers the classic topics of pathophysiology, starting with cell biology, discussing the diseases of different organ systems, and ending with immunology and genetics. It adequately describes the signs and symptoms of human disease. The cartoon figures of the various organs and cells are childish, as are the majority of figures. Descriptions of immunological and genetic components of disease development are superficial and in some cases inaccurate or out of date. The organization of the chapters is awkward. Concepts of genetics and immunology, essential to understanding disease processes in the human body, should be placed before the disease descriptions.
Assessment: There are many basic textbooks in pathophysiology available to health science majors. The best, such as Pathophysiology for the Health Professions, 3rd edition, Gould (Elsevier, 2006), and Understanding Pathophysiology, 4th edition, Huether and McCance (Elsevier, 2008), are collaborative efforts between healthcare professionals and basic scientists. A similar collaborative effort would greatly improve any subsequent editions of this book.