Consumer Health Information Source Book

By Alan M. Rees | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 9

English-Language Pamphlets

More than 1,200 titles of pamphlets, booklets, brochures, and leaflets on a wide variety of health-related topics are listed in this chapter. This type of publication is highly useful in that it provides simple and concise description of the signs, symptoms, treatment, course, and prognosis of a wide variety of diseases, ailments, and procedures, together with advice on long-term coping. The large quantity of pamphlets and related materials published by the National Institutes of Health stems from the categorical disease mission of the various components of NIH. Many pamphlet publications are the spin-offs of the research activity supported by NIH, Centers for Disease Control, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, or other government agencies. In this manner, many pamphlets are consumer versions of research findings, professional reports, or clinical practice guidelines. Most of the pamphlet literature is disease-oriented in that health promotion and preventive medicine still do not have a high priority (i.e., budget-wise) in the federal mission. Despite the continuing emphasis at the federal level on health promotion and health education, comparatively few pamphlet titles relate to physical fitness, exercise, and prevention.

Another significant source of consumer pamphlets lies in the voluntary health organizations such as the American Liver Foundation, American Heart Asso ciation, Arthritis Foundation, and the National Headache Foundation, together with smaller organi zations such as the Psoriasis Foundation, American Tinnitus Association, and the Tourette Syndrome Associatiorn.

Many professional associations continue to make a most significant contribution to patient education. In particular, the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Dermatology, American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, American Academy of Ophthalmology, and the American Academy of Allergy and Immunology publish and distribute hundreds of high-quality pamphlets and bro chures. It is now quite common to find the pamphlet literature of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons available in orthopedic surgeons' offices to explain total hip replacement, total knee replacement, or shoulder arthroscopy. Likewise, plastic surgeons are most likely to have the assortment of pamphlets published by the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons on procedures such as breast reduction mammoplasty, dermabrasion, and liposuction. Similarly, ophthalmologists stock the pamphlets of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and dermatologists distribute publications of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Pamphlet publishers also include pharmaceutical manufacturers, research institutes, consumer advocacy groups, and hospitals. Print pamphlets are updated ir-regularly, necessitating continual checking with the publisher to determine the possible existence and

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