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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: John Claro Onate, BS, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This is a summation and review of the various approaches to understanding the nature and origins of schizophrenia and future developments in the research and perspective of schizophrenia.
Purpose: The purpose is to bring together and unify the various research studies of schizophrenia. This is a very important topic and after over 100 years, we still have a limited understanding of this disorder. The editors fulfilled their purpose with a concise but quite comprehensive and thought-provoking book.
Audience: Graduate level students in medicine, public health, epidemiology, and mental health are the audience. Readers will need an understanding of epidemiology to understand this book fully, although the chapter summaries are very helpful. The authors have done their homework and show a deep understanding and insight into the material.
Features: The book covers the social epidemiology and geographical nature of schizophrenia, revealing, interestingly, that patients fared worst in industrialized counties compared to third world countries. Outcome studies are covered and the strengths and weaknesses of descriptive studies are discussed, then developmental and disease progression. Genetic studies, both classical and molecular, of schizophrenia are next, revealing evidence for multiple locations of genetic causes. The next sections cover important but sometimes overlooked aspects of medical health, suicide, and substance abuse in these patients. The final sections are discussions on the categorical versus dimensional diagnosis and preventive care for schizophrenia.
Assessment: This is a refreshing and helpful book that presents an up-to-date and comprehensive understanding of schizophrenia. It is also a great book to learn about the application of epidemiology on mental health. The sections on medical health, suicide, and substance abuse are helpful for clinical practice. The section on diagnosis makes the reader think about the strengths and weaknesses of psychiatric diagnosis.