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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Julia Edgar, PhD (Washington University School of Medicine)
Description: This is the CD-ROM version of a speech-language pathology dictionary of terms. It can be used on both a Mac and a PC.
Purpose: The authors do not specify a purpose for converting their book to a CD-ROM, but one can understand the utility of a compact reference in this age of laptop portability.
Audience: This product is targeted for students as well as clinicians. The authors, well respected in the field of speech-language pathology, have created a product appropriate for the intended audience.
Features: A comprehensive list of terms used in the field of speech-language pathology are presented, encompassing all facets of the field. The "Read Me" file provides clear instructions for using the CD-ROM, and it is easy to use. The authors provide very clear instructions for use of this product. It is easy to navigate between definitions and illustrations. Over 4000 definitions are included, with reasonable cross-referencing to relevant terms. The format of this product allows users to locate terms via a "Find" or "Browse" function. Unfortunately the "Find" function will locate exact matches only. If the user enters "Parkinson's Disease" rather than "Parkinson Disease" a match is not found. Likewise, even though one can supposedly use acronyms or full words, a search for "amyotrophic lateral sclerosis" will be successful, but a search for "ALS" will not. The definitions and illustrations provided are at times erroneous and/or unclear. For example, under the term "voice prosthesis" a very clear description of tracheoesophageal puncture is provided. However, the illustration is of a tracheostomy tube with a Passy Muir valve. Although this is, indeed, a type of "voice prosthesis," it is not mentioned in the definition, nor is the differentiation made between a laryngeal and alaryngeal prosthetic device. Interestingly, "Passy Muir" is not a term represented in the dictionary. In addition, an illustration of Basal Ganglia is confusing in that the definition mentions the "caudate and lentiform nuclei" along with the subthalamic nucleus and the substantia nigra but the illustration includes the caudate nucleus, putamen, globus pallidus, and the thalamus. If users lack background in neuroanatomy, they will not know that the lentiform is synonymous to the putamen and globus pallidus.
Assessment: This product, though theoretically of value, falls short of the authors' goals in that it contains some errors. However, much of the information is correct, and this is a relatively user-friendly system for computer use.