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From The CriticsReviewer: John K. Larson, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This book is the product of the Venice International Working Group of 43 international clinicians, educators, and researchers. Organized by the International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professionals, the Venice group began meeting in 1996 to discuss the mounting problems associated with changes in mental health systems and services for children and adolescents around the world.
Purpose: This volume, a highly political undertaking, presents a strong case for increasing funding for research and the treatment of psychiatric illness in this age group.
Audience: The targeted audience primarily consists of child and adolescent clinicians, administrators, and policymakers.
Features: The book is divided into seven sections. The first section provides an excellent overview of developmental psychopathology and the prevalence of psychiatric disorders in childhood and adolescence. The second section is concerned with costs and the economics of mental healthcare. The third section deals with outcome measurement. Sections four and five describe a number of model programs. Section six is a summary and section seven contains conclusions and recommendations of the International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions (IACAPAP). Each chapter concludes with an excellent bibliography. As might be expected, the diversity of authorship results in a variety of sometimes conflicting viewpoints, however this is not distracting and only tends to add breadth to this impressive effort.
Assessment: This volume is an extremely successful effort to provide the reader with a broad but detailed overview of the international state of child and adolescent psychiatric services. It has special relevance in our current deliberations regarding the impact of managed care and cost containment on the delivery of meaningful services to those who trust us. It could serve as the basis for a blueprint for system design well into the 21st century.