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From The CriticsReviewer: Steven T. Herron, MD (University of Arizona Health Sciences Center)
Description: This is a condensed and practical version of a psychiatric textbook containing important diagnostic and treatment information in an easily accessible and digestible format.
Purpose: This book is designed to be a reference guide, one containing information readily found and used without needlessly overwhelming the reader.
Audience: The author has written this book for use "across the spectrum of clinicians who deal with adults with mental health symptoms." Included in this description are psychiatrists and other physicians, social workers, psychologists, physician assistants, and trainees in these fields.
Features: The guide is divided into "six interlinked components," namely biopsychosocial assessment, symptom-driven interviewing, disorders, treatment, appendixes, and key references. Readers can refer to each section individually or use the sections progressively when following a particular symptom or disorder. It is written in a symptom driven model, using evidence-based information to assist the reader in decision-making. The author also attempts to highlight information he feels may be helpful to the reader with a picture of a "wide net" (to indicate questions with a high sensitivity) or a "winnowing fan" (to illustrate questions with a high specificity).
Assessment: The information in this book is recent and well organized and the symptom driven approach is helpful, especially for those less experienced in clinical areas of mental health assessment. Material is readily accessible, easy to understand, and well linked to other areas in the book. In addition, the appendixes are useful and include relevant information. The only major problem with this book (not unusual in the written medium) is the continued development of new medications and trea1ments for psychiatric disorders. Frequent updating will be necessary to maintain this guide's quality and usefu1ness. In any event, this book is highly recommended as a reference source, with other, more comprehensive texts at the ready for obtaining further information and clarification of issues.