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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Michael Joel Schrift, DO, MA (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: Written and edited by nationally recognized experts in geriatric psychiatry, this book continues to serve as an excellent review for psychiatrists studying for board certification in geriatric psychiatry. This is the second edition of a book that distills the main concepts from The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Geriatric Psychiatry, 4th edition, which was published in 2009.
Purpose: The purpose is to "to provide the clinician with the current state of scientific understanding as well as practical skills and knowledge base required for dealing with mental disorders in late life." While this is useful for refreshing one's memory in the effort to pass the geriatric psychiatry boards, it does not provide the practical skills needed for treating older patients.
Audience: The intended audience is psychiatrists preparing for the geriatric psychiatry board certification examination, although fellows in geriatric psychiatry, neuropsychiatry and behavioral neurology, and geriatric neurology also would find it useful. Psychiatry residents who are doing a rotation in geriatric psychiatry would find it helpful.
Features: The first of the book's four parts covers demographic and epidemiological aspects of geriatric psychiatric disorders and the physiology of aging. Part 2 reviews diagnostic issues and summarizes pertinent aspects of the interview, laboratory evaluation, and neuropsychological testing. Specific psychiatric disorders are covered in part 3, which includes chapters on cognitive disorders, movement disorders, psychoses, anxiety, somatoform disorders, adjustment disorders and bereavement, sleep disorders, substance related disorders, and agitation. Part 4 concludes with reviews of various treatment modalities with chapters on psychopharmacology, individual and group therapy, family therapy, and nursing home practice. The best part of the first edition was the section of study questions at the end of each chapter and the study guide at the end of the book. Unfortunately, this was eliminated in this edition. Each chapter remains well referenced. As was true of the first edition, some important topics seem to be left out again, including the validity issues of the DSM pertaining to geriatric psychiatry; a discussion of melancholia as a distinguishable mood disorder with specific treatment responsiveness; and REM behavior, a frequent accompaniment and management problem of the alpha synucleinopathies.
Assessment: This review is excellent for the purpose of preparing for the geriatric psychiatry boards. For a full understanding of geriatric psychiatry and the care needed for elderly patients with mental disorders, training and education beyond reading this book is required.