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2009 "Prix Prescrire" book awards announced

Prix Prescrire 2009
On 1 October, the French journal Prescrire announced the winners of its annual book award, the "Prix Prescrire". Four books in French were singled out by Prescrire’s Editorial Staff for the quality, impartiality and usefulness of their information.


Not just another book award The winners were chosen from among the 400 to 500 works reviewed each year by members of Prescrire's Editorial Staff, who are healthcare professionals free of any conflicts of interest.

20 to 30 titles are selected yearly to be recommended in Prescrire's "Lu pour vous" column, just a few of these go on to win the Prix Prescrire. In awarding the Prix Prescrire, the editors apply criteria based on Prescrire's commitment to the quality, timeliness and independence of health information.

"Décision médicale ou la quête de l'explicite" Décision médicaleMedical decision-making depends in large part upon a probabilistic approach. This book presents the precepts from cognitive psychology, such as "decision trees", that can help readers understand probabilistic reasoning, and then takes a realistic look at the various influences that weigh upon decisions. It devotes a lot of space to ratings systems that have been approved for guiding a probabilistic diagnostic approach (clinical scores, etc). Some 400 of these are included on a CD-Rom, in the form of Excel files. One of the rare works that helps to remedy the lack of training for healthcare professionals in this area.
Junod AF "Décision médicale ou la quête de l'explicite" Médecine et Hygiène, Genève 2007 : 270 pages + CD-Rom, 39 euros.

"Quand la malvoyance s'installe" Quand la Malvoyance S'installeThis practical guide provides advice for the visually impaired and their families regarding a variety of situations in everyday life. Advice that is illustrated by personal accounts and sometimes by charts. Thanks to the diversity of authors and editors, including patients and representatives of associations involved in the area of visual impairment, this guide is well adapted to its target audience and respectful of individual differences. Healthcare professionals will also find useful advice here on caring for the visually impaired.
Holzschuch C et al "Quand la malvoyance s'installe. Guide pratique à l'usage des adultes et de leur entourage" Éditions Inpes/Fondation de France, Saint-Denis 2008 : 160 pages.

"L'enfant autiste" L'enfant autisteThis guide aims to answer the questions that families of autistic children ask themselves, but also targets healthcare and other professionals involved in caring for these children. It delivers answers about autism, and especially advice on daily living, covering practical, administrative and emotional angles. The suggestions are very concrete and specific. This book is 100% useful, to be recommended particularly for the parents of autistic children.
Ouss-Ryngaert L et al "L'enfant autiste" John Libbey Eurotext, Montrouge 2008 : 364 pages, 24 euros.

"Les corps vils" Les Corps vilsThe French expression "les corps vils" (literally, vile bodies) has designated, since the 16th century, persons who are judged to be inferior or dependent, and upon whom uncertain or even dangerous remedies or treatments have been tested. The author's historical approach is based upon an analysis of 18th- and 19th-century practices: benefit to society as a whole was used to justify human experiments on prisoners, the poor, orphans, blacks, etc. In the 19th century, the apparition in Europe of the notion of consent from subjects did not prevent utterly lawless experimentation on "natives" in the colonial territories. This book provides an opening for thinking about clinical research, and about the temptations and the realities of non-ethical behaviours, even today, in clinical trials.
Chamayou G "Les corps vils. Expérimenter sur les êtres humains aux XVIIIe et XIXe siècles". Éditions Les empêcheurs de tourner en rond /
La Découverte, Paris, 2008 : 422 pages, 24.50 euros.

> Click here for full details (in French) on the 2009 Prix Prescrire.

©Prescrire November 2009

Source: "Prix Prescrire 2009" Rev Prescrire 2009; 29 (312): IV.