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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Michael Joel Schrift, DO, MA (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: In this fourth edition of his benchmark textbook of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), Dr. Abrams has updated each chapter with reviews of recent and relevant studies and has added a chapter on transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy (TMS). Dr. Abrams is an internationally renowned clinician-researcher and this book reflects his broad knowledge and wisdom regarding ECT.
Purpose: The purpose is to update information for the practicing clinician. According to Dr. Abrams, "Hundreds of new clinical studies culled from the more than 1,500 published since the third edition appeared have been analyzed in depth and incorporated throughout the book." Indeed, Dr. Abrams has made life easier for clinicians in helping to interpret this vast literature.
Audience: The audience includes practicing psychiatrists, academic and research psychiatrists interested in ECT. It should be mandatory reading for psychiatry residents. Attorneys, forensic psychiatrists, and neuropsychologists involved in legal issues regarding ECT would also find this book useful.
Features: The format of the book's 13 chapters is similar to that of the previous editions, with the addition of the chapter on TMS. Other topics covered include the history of ECT, efficacy, response prediction, physiology, management of the high-risk patient, issues regarding stimulus parameters, seizure induction and seizure quality, electrode placement, theory and practice of technique, cognitive functions, neurobiological correlates, patient attitudes, medicolegal issues and informed consent. The book ends with an exhaustive reference section and a helpful index.
Assessment: This book remains the gold standard for the analysis of the ECT literature and the practicalities of using ECT in clinical practice. I highly recommend it.