Description: This new book is a boiled down version of The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Geriatric Psychiatry, 3rd edition, which was published in 2004. Written and edited by nationally recognized experts in geriatric psychiatry, this book serves the purpose of being an excellent review for psychiatrists studying for board certification in geriatric psychiatry.
Purpose: The intended purpose is "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 information base in the effort to pass the geriatric psychiatry boards, the practical skills needed for treating older patients is not going to be obtained from this book.
Audience: The intended audience includes psychiatrists preparing for taking the geriatric psychiatry board certification examination. The book would also be useful for fellows in geriatric psychiatry, neuropsychiatry and behavioral neurology, and geriatric neurology. Psychiatry residents who are rotating in geriatric psychiatry would also find it useful.
Features: Part 1 of the book's four parts covers demographic and epidemiologic aspects of geriatric psychiatric disorders as well as 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 book is the section of study questions at the end of each chapter and the study guide at the end of the book. The study guide explains the answer to each question with references to the relevant literature. Each chapter is well referenced as well. Unfortunately, some important topics seem to be left out, 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 book 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 the reading this book is required.