Description: This is the first edition of a textbook reviewing the comorbidity of depression and physical illness for the long-running Perspectives in Psychiatry series.
Purpose: The purpose is to review the overlap of depression and physical illness while offering practical approaches to the management of the specific comorbid condition. This objective is certainly worthwhile, especially because the improved tolerability of the newer antidepressants has greatly increased awareness of depression, and much of the treatment has been delegated to primary care physicians.
Audience: The stated audience includes psychiatry trainees, consultation-liaison psychiatrists, and non-psychiatric clinicians who are likely to encounter the comorbidity of depression and physical illness. The individual chapter authors are noted experts on their respective topics, and generally do a very good job reviewing the literature.
Features: The book consists of three parts, all mostly text, with occasional tables, figures, and a rare brain imaging reproduction to complement the text. Curiously, the editors boast about considerable use of case vignettes, which are virtually nonexistent with the exception of the chapter on skin diseases. The references appear mostly current, and the table of contents and index are exceptionally useful when referencing a specific medical disorder. The book's hardcover is plain but effective.
Assessment: This is a useful review textbook on the comorbidity of depression and physical disorders that can nicely aid the typical psychiatrist or primary care physician. The third section, which reviews the literature on specific medical disorders concomitant with depression, is especially worthwhile clinically as it appears well-researched and quite comprehensive. For those clinicians without such a reference, purchase of this book should be considered.