’This book will appeal to any lay-person hungry for the information about hepatitis C.’
Title: Hepatitis C-a complete Guide for patients and Families
Author: Paul J Thuluvath
Publisher: John Hopkins University Press
Reviewer: Susie Dunkley, hospice clinical nurse specialist, St Peter’s Hospice, Bristol
What was it like?
This book is a well written, candid guide for patients and their families whose lives are affected by hepatitis C. It is written in text book style and covers the topic from exposure and diagnosis to latest treatments for both acute and chronic hepatitis C, including liver transplantation. It holds no punches explaining in fine detail the likely disease trajectory and prognostic indicators. It is divided up into short, logical chapters, which effectively guide the reader through all the ramifications of this disease.
What were the highlights?
The progress made in the field of hepatitis C treatment has been huge in the last 25 years and this was enormously refreshing to read. Thuluvath conveys his interest in his subject with passion and optimism, balanced by a pragmatic commentary on the advantages of early identification of risk factors and diagnosis. His prose is factual and he is keen to evidence treatment options throughout. His final chapter on complementary therapy and alternative medicine demonstrates his impatience with non-evidence based therapies, which do not undergo clinical trials. Surprisingly, however he does report evidence to support that coffee consumption is beneficial to people with liver disease and reduces the risk of liver cancer.
Strengths and weaknesses
The book is written clearly, free from jargon and offers a wealth of information about hepatitis It reflects the context in which it is written, the US health care system; drug names and doses differ slightly to those in the UK that may confound the UK reader particularly if they are not a health care professional (eg Acetaminophen-UK name Paracetamol- with the maximum daily dose for a healthy adult 500mg four times daily rather than 1g four times daily). In addition the US insurance led healthcare system’s funding criteria for treatment options will not be comparable to that of the NHS in the UK
Who should read it?
This book will appeal to any lay-person hungry for the information about hepatitis C. Although it is aimed at the lay-person it will also be a valuable asset to any professional seeking understanding and up to date information about the disease.