Description: This comprehensive, practical reference summarizes the fundamentals of the editors' 2008 comprehensive book, Cambridge Textbook of Effective Treatments in Psychiatry.
Purpose: The editors strive to provide up-to-date and bias-free information for the daily questions psychiatrists have about a wide spectrum of topics. The editors succeed in this task, which is important because of the ever-growing volume of critical information that is often relayed to providers via the Internet and pharmaceutical representatives.
Audience: The editors describe this as "an essential guide for mental health professionals of all disciplines as well as medical students and trainees." Because of the book's straightforward, easy-to-read style, anyone who provides mental health treatment will benefit from it. Both editors are well respected in their fields and each chapter is written by an expert in that particular topic.
Features: The book's major sections cover organic disorders including dementia, substance abuse, schizophrenia, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, personality disorders, sexual disorders, and child psychiatry. Chapters in each of these sections cover the symptoms and treatment modalities for each subtype. A conclusion and summary table of the treatment options ends each chapter, which at times covered several pages which should be condensed for further editions. A helpful index is present at the end of the book as well as the list of the references. Perhaps future editions could have the references at the end of each chapter which would be more convenient for the reader instead of all of the references together at the end of the text.
Assessment: The editors do an excellent job of summarizing the massive amount of data to present it in manageable chapters. Readers can easily get up to date on treatments for a specific condition in about 15 minutes, with references for further information if needed. The editors include data that prove and disprove effectiveness of treatments, making this book free from bias from outside sources. Because it is so easy to read, this book is helpful for a range of providers from medical students to senior attending psychiatrists.