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From The CriticsReviewer: Jeffrey S. Ross, MD(Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This is the first edition of a fairly unique textbook reviewing the diagnosis and treatment of patients with both substance abuse and psychiatric or medical disorders, a population known as dual diagnosis.
Purpose: The purpose of the book, as stated in the preface, is to provide a scientific rationale for the clinical care of dually diagnosed patients. It is certainly a worthy goal in light of the enormous prevalence of such comorbidity in the general population and the very complex diagnostic and treatment issues that are raised by this patient population. This book does a terrific job of integrating these historically segregated disorders, and recognizing the dual diagnosis patient as a unique entity who requires specialized assessment and care.
Audience: According to the editors, the book is written for two possible audiences. The first is the clinical investigator specializing in dual diagnosis research who can greatly benefit from a detailed literature review on issues of epidemiology, theorized etiology, diagnostic methods, and treatment modalities. The second audience is the mental health clinician, especially the psychiatrist, who commonly treats comorbid conditions and who will find the specific chapters invaluable in clinical practice.
Features: The book consists of mostly text with sporadic tables and figures used to highlight or organize the text. The references are abundant and fairly current, predominantly representing the 1980's and early 1990's. The table of contents logically organizes the sections into research and clinical reviews, and the chapters into specific dual diagnosis conditions commonly seen in psychiatry and medicine. The cover is drab and uninspired, but adequate.
Assessment: This is a timely and worthwhile addition to the field of mental health, considering the enormous prevalence of the dual diagnosis condition. In this era of managed care, attention is increasingly focused on the successful outcome, an ideal which is wholly dependent on accurate diagnosis and treatment of the uniquely-presenting dual diagnosis patient. This book does a superb job of addressing this critical and often neglected area, and purchase is recommended.