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From The CriticsReviewer: Pamela Vergara- Rodriguez, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This is the fourth edition of a large, pocket sized review that is user friendly and succinct. The previous edition was published in 1995. The new edition adds current references and updates the content with recent material.
Purpose: The book is meant to review basic, key points in a wide range of psychiatric areas in order to provide a quick recall of previously studied material. The purpose is not to provide any in-depth teaching or details, but rather to serve as a comprehensive yet concise review.
Audience: The audience may include any person in the mental health field as the authors mention in the preface; the material is easy to read and understand. Physicians may use this book as a quick memory-aid, whereas a mental health social worker may use this book as a reference. The authors present an all-inclusive understanding of psychiatry.
Features: The book is divided into 27 sections covering a wide range of topics from research methodology to EEG and brain imaging, to community-oriented psychiatry. Each section reviews basic information: definitions, epidemiology, etiology, clinical features and management. Tables and bullets are used appropriately to review key points. Historical figures and concepts are included when appropriate. Each section ends with references and suggested further reading. The authors refer to both the ICD-10 and the DSM-IV, which provides an international comparison of psychiatric constructs. This black-and-white print text is entirely for the quick-read audience and would not be recommended for visual learners.
Assessment: This edition is timely, including issues in evidence-based medicine treatment guidelines and even web sites, all of which are now an integral part of psychiatric practice. Compared to other pocket books, this one keeps to the essentials yet remains remarkably comprehensive. Any mental health practitioner, ranging from social worker to psychiatrist, could benefit from a quick glance or a one-time read through. This type of book is particularly useful in the outpatient setting where time is of utmost value.