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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: John Claro Onate, BS, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This book presents interviewing skills and diagnostic techniques for use with patients with different symptom categories, based on the DSM-IV-TR, that are considered difficult. It uses the algorithm listen, tag, confront, solve, and approve.
Purpose: The purpose is to show different approaches, both psychodynamic and descriptive (biological) geared toward specific symptom clusters. It also demonstrates the need for a flexible and broad set of clinical skills. The book uses helpful clinical vignettes.
Audience: The book is intended for residents and experienced clinicians needing additional information and strategies on the diagnostic interview. This is based on the Othmer's broad clinical and research experience in both biologic and psychotherapeutic psychiatry. This book would be better suited to residents.
Features: Interview techniques and clinical vignettes are included on conversion disorder, disassociative disorder, delirium, dementia, mental retardation, factious and malingering. The clinical vignettes show how different approaches can be helpful. The section on symptom language is the most helpful and informative feature, but the entire book is practical. The unique feature is the algorithm: listen, tag, confront, solve and approve. The book could be improved with more evidence for hypnosis, incorporation of psychopharmacology, and a chapter on OCD.
Assessment: This is a very helpful book on a difficult area of psychiatry. I have not read other books on the subject that focus only on interviewing strategies for difficult patients. I feel that this book is appropriate for basic psychiatric training literature. The book develops its goals well.