THE COMPLETE BOOK OF WOMEN'S HEALTH by Gall Chapman; Ruth McCorkle & Nancy Fugate Woods Hongladarom


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A welcome, well-formulated look beyond gynecological health problems at the health status of women, individually and collectively, from a public health viewpoint. Nearly all the 30 contributors are women and nurses; among them, they cover the relevant sociological, physical, psychological, and pharmaceutical issues. The situation of women, we see, is paradoxical. Women use the health care system more than men (they are also the majority of workers in the system); and though this may lead us to think that ""women are fatter, sadder, more fragile, and more prone to suicide than men,"" it is nonetheless true that women live longer than men. Does this mean, then, that women pay more and better attention to their health, and reap the benefits? In this light, the authors begin with a detailed, technical exploration of women's health status in this country. Sections follow on ""Women's Unique Physiology"" (the gynecological issues) and ""Health Damaging Behaviors"" (nutrition, smoking, and exercise--plus alcohol use, physiological responses to stress, and sex-related environmental hazards). ""Health Situations"" deals with physical needs (e.g., osteoporosis) and mental needs (e.g., crisis responses), picking out those that are common or ""particularly troublesome to women when they do occur."" A special help here is ""Women and loss: the many faces of grief,"" linking early encounters with loss to later experiences with death and grief. There is health-resource guidance emphasizing how women can develop the power to affect their health; and describing government involvement in health care (via social security, maternal and infant care programs, family planning, medicare, and so on). Though these are dense, textbook-style pieces, they never become impenetrable (a Jane Brody reader, say, would have no problem with them); nor does the strong feminist message get in the way of the information. A solid overview with distinct utility for individuals.

Pub Date: April 2nd, 1982
Publisher: Prentice-Hall