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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Christopher J Graver, PhD, ABPP-CN(Madigan Healthcare System)
Description: This is the latest in what has been a recent explosion of books in the area of forensic psychology and neuropsychology. The unique feature of this book is the U.K. practice perspective.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide clinicians with current, empirically based information on various diseases and disorders relevant for neuropsychological practice.
Audience: The audience clearly includes clinical neuropsychologists already engaged in forensic practice or considering entering this field. The authors appear to have clinical training and research experience in neuropsychology, and to some degree forensics, but their full credentials were not listed. Previous publications by these authors have been on a wide range of topics, from Korsakoff's syndrome to ADHD, without a particular focus on forensic neuropsychology.
Features: The book focuses mainly on clinical syndromes ranging from ADHD to epilepsy to traumatic brain injury. The authors attempt to provide a thorough review of the literature on these syndromes and they get within reach of this goal, but at times they fail to acknowledge major methodological flaws from a scientific perspective. In some cases, the authors refer only to each other's research as support with no evidence of independent verification or replication. Thankfully, limitations in knowledge, assessment techniques, and outcomes are acknowledged in some chapters (e.g., ADHD). Other chapters are woefully outdated and patently incorrect. For example, the traumatic brain injury chapter incorrectly identifies brain injury severity according to posttraumatic amnesia, and the discussion of methods to determine injury severity is incomplete. There is no distinction in the neuropsychological discussion between concussion and moderate to severe brain injury. In addition, the recovery timeframes for concussion are based on archaic studies and methodologically flawed research. Furthermore, discussion of MMPI-2 validity scales is deficient, which is broadly relevant for forensic work. Refreshingly, the chapter on malingering is spot on in its conceptual and ethical discussion, pertinence of references, and currency of information. The case studies at the end of this chapter are quite illuminating.
Assessment: There are a few strong chapters in this book, but there are also notable errors and omissions that are inexcusable in a book purporting to be a resource for forensic neuropsychologists whose work will come under scrutiny in court. Readers would be much better served by Clinical Neuropsychology in the Criminal Forensic Setting, Denney and Sullivan (Guilford, 2008).