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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Seleena M. Shrestha, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This concise, practical textbook on child and adolescent psychiatry is divided into four broad sections which cover not only commonly encountered psychiatric disorders, but also tries to cover most of the practical problems that the clinician or treatment team may face while caring for a child with mental illness. The chapters are illustrated with tables, charts, and several case vignettes for better conceptualization and include comprehensive references, which may be useful to get in-depth information on a certain topic.
Purpose: The book provides clinical information that is essential for any healthcare professional involved in the care of mentally ill children. The basic purpose is to equip readers with information on the assessment of children with mental illness; common psychiatric diagnoses; biological and psychosocial approaches to treatment; and practical approaches to deal with difficult situations that may arise during the course of treatment. It also provides relevant information on forensic aspects of child psychiatry.
Audience: It targets clinicians working with children with mental illness, including psychiatrists, pediatricians, and family practitioners. It also can be a very good resource for social workers and therapists working with children. There is no doubt that this book will be an informative resource for child psychiatry fellows, psychiatry, pediatrics, and family medicine residents, and medical students who may have an interest in this area.
Features: The four broad sections cover most of the important areas of child and adolescent psychiatry. The assessment chapters rightly focus on the importance of data collection, including a detailed developmental history during initial evaluation. It also provides illustrative data on major developmental milestones, which will be very helpful in clinical practice. The authors have attempted to simplify the explanation of psychological assessment by listing various tests that one should be familiar with in a tabular format. They provide illustrative diagrams and images to explain neurobiology, making a difficult topic easy to understand. All the chapters consist of case studies, which are practical and informative. In section II, the book discusses common disorders in an organized and concise fashion. Providing a brief history of each disorder, listing DSM IV-TR criteria, presenting the most recent data on incidence and prevalence as well as recent practice parameters seems to be characteristic of the whole book. Another helpful feature is the way the book provides practical explanations of differential diagnoses of various disorders, some in tables and some in text. It also provides references from the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry's practice parameters, which is certainly a plus. Discussions of proposed DSM V criteria in some chapters are informative. Also included are good tables on FDA-approved psychotropics and intense literature reviews. Additional resources that can be very useful in clinical practice include online resources and several tables with comparisons between medications (viz., table consisting of psychostimulant medications with equivalent dosing). The book also discusses major studies relevant to child and adolescent psychiatry. However, it has very limited information on child and adolescent pediatric consultation-liaison psychiatry, which is a shortcoming.
Assessment: This introduction to important aspects of child and adolescent psychiatry presents systematic, evidence-based approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness in children. The practical approach, organization, and clarity make it easy to read. Although concise, the book has plenty of resources for further information. It provides the knowledge base for beginners and up-to-date, evidence-based information. The inclusion of current treatment protocols for most common disorders makes it a good book for quick reference. It provides some information regarding other areas, like psychological assessment and a few forms of psychotherapy as well, but it does not provide much information on psychopharmacology. The book seems to focus on a systems approach and on making clinicians aware of their responsibility for their patients' well-being. The book does provide adequate information on common child psychiatric disorders for day-to-day practice, but other comprehensive textbooks should be consulted for in-depth information.