Mapping Health on the Internet

: Strategies for learning in an information age

Ross Scrivener 2002

A personal review by Rod Ward - 23.7.02

This review appeared in ITIN The official journal of the BCS Nursing Specialist Group 14:3 p1

This book, written by information specialists from the Royal College of Nursing Institute, uses a variety of types of maps, namely 'smart maps', concept maps and mind maps, in an attempt to help the user find their way through the maze of information sources available via the Internet.

The initial chapters examine the nature of the Internet and some of the requirements for information literacy, including framing appropriate questions and search terms, and exploration of levels of evidence. The third chapter introduces the mapping concepts used throughout the rest of the book, providing graphical and conceptual representations of material. Chapters are contributed with specific foci on information access and use in "Care of older people", "Mental health", "Child health" and "Primary care".

The final chapter "Coming to a screen near you" examines current developments in the UK with a particular focus on UK government and NHS information strategies, and attempts to highlight some potential future developments. It includes some reference to e-learning although this is more limited than might be suggested by the books subtitle, perhaps seeing resource based learning, which is implicit throughout the book, as the area in which the Internet has most to offer.

The book and the examples used are UK focused and include each of the four countries. Each chapter is supported by extensive references to both paper publications and Internet resources, and the book includes a helpful and reasonably comprehensive index.

The book is written by information specialists, but strenuous attempts have been made to use language which can be understood by clinicians, which is aided by the graphical representations, making this book useful to a wide audience amongst healthcare professionals in the UK. As with any book on this topic area, rapid change, particularly in NHS strategies and the URLs for Internet resources, will mean it may need revision before long, but it provides an up to date and user friendly guide to this complex area.

Title: Mapping Health on the Internet
Author: Ross Scrivener
Publishers: Radcliffe Medical Press Ltd
No of pages: 144
Price: £not known
ISBN: 1 85775 593 6

This book is available from Amazon

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Page Created: 23.7.2002
Last Updated: 30.109.2005