Description: The authors of the comprehensive The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Schizophrenia (American Psychiatric Publishing, 2006) present this book that focuses more on the clinical essentials of schizophrenia.
Purpose: The purpose is to educate readers about the recent encouraging data regarding schizophrenia, specifically in the context of treatment. The editors aim is to update the readers' knowledge base as well as provide a reference.
Audience: The authors indicate a very broad audience of "psychiatrists and mental health care professionals" and "trainees and students." All these audiences will benefit from this book, but, because of its format, those who directly provide treatment to patients with schizophrenia will benefit the most.
Features: The 10 chapters cover epidemiology and natural history, psychopathology, prodrome and first episode, neurocognitive impairments, social and functional impairments, co-occurring substance use and other psychotic disorders, medical comorbidities, pharmacotherapies, psychosocial therapies, and treatment of chronic schizophrenia. The chapters are broken up into paragraphs with bolded subject lines and use italicized key words to highlight key concepts. Most chapters have illustrations, including tables and figures, and all have summaries and references.
Assessment: Various books have sections on schizophrenia covering treatment, background, and psychopathology, but this is the first book I have read that specifically covers schizophrenia. The authors do a good job of exciting readers about the recent progress that has been made in the treatment of schizophrenia as well as identifying future research potential. The majority of the book excels at presenting very complicated information in a form that is easy to comprehend, but it has significantly fewer illustrations than I would expect. The decision to include full references within the text makes some sections difficult to read, as references would take up more than one line. Subsequent editions would benefit from more illustrations and should use numbers in the text that correlate with references at the end of the chapters for a smoother read. The sections covering psychopharmacology, with the exception of oral antipsychotic medications, had insufficient information on dosing strategies. The sections on injection antipsychotics need more data regarding treatment strategies for transitioning from oral to injection treatment.