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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Rebekah Wang-Cheng, MD (Medical College of Wisconsin)
Description: This is a discussion of nine conditions commonly seen in primary care which fall under the umbrella of "functional somatic syndromes."
Purpose: The aim is to present state-of-the-art information on the clinical characteristics of these syndromes, to review the best available research on their causes and management, and to summarize all the clinically relevant facts.
Audience: While this book is addressed foremost to primary care physicians because they see these patients on a frequent basis, it is also for physicians in psychiatry, neurology, and physical rehabilitation, as well as residents who are training in all of these fields. In addition, patients who have these syndromes will find valuable information for themselves and their families.
Features: Each of nine conditions is found in a chapter written by experts in the field. These conditions include chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, premenstrual syndrome, interstitial cystitis, temporomandibular disorders, chest pain, repetitive strain injury, and multiple chemical sensitivities. In addition, there are other helpful chapters that include discussions of the psychopharmacology of these syndromes and determination of disability. Each chapter also has a case presentation and a section on prevalence and economic costs.
Assessment: This book is in a class of its own. I am not aware of any other publication for the primary care physician that covers these commonly seen conditions that can be extremely frustrating for both physicians and patients. The references are very up-to-date and cited very judiciously and appropriately throughout the text. Historical sections at the beginning of each chapter are very interesting and set a context for understanding the condition.