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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Michael Joel Schrift, DO, MA (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: This is an excellent book on electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) written primarily for patients and their families. Authored by an internationally recognized clinician and researcher, it is a valuable contribution to the field.
Purpose: The purpose is to explain and teach to patients and their families the safety and effectiveness of ECT for specific psychiatric disorders, and to describe and critically review the adverse side affects (e.g., memory loss, the myths and controversies of ECT, the history of the treatment, and even technical aspects of treatment). The author accomplishes this difficult task in easy-to-understand language without medical jargon.
Audience: The intended audience is patients and their families. It would also be useful for non-psychiatric physicians unfamiliar with ECT, social workers, psychologists, and anyone in healthcare who works with the seriously mentally ill patient.
Features: This book features 157 pages divided into 12 chapters, including four appendixes, annotations from the various chapters, and an up-to-date bibliography section. The chapters include topics such as a description of treatment, the patient's experience, risks and contraindications, technical aspects, and various neuropsychiatric disorders for which ECT is used. Appendix 1 lists diagnoses in which ECT is considered effective and Appendix 2 lists diagnoses in which ECT is considered ineffective. Appendix 3 has a sample consent form, and Appendix 4 lists various drugs with their brand and generic names and uses. There is also a helpful index at the end of the book.
Assessment: This is an outstanding and informative new book on ECT. Clinicians who prescribe ECT should recommend this book to their patients and their patients' families.